Volendam Boy with Cigarette, 1910
Oil on canvas
26¼ x 20¼ inches
Signed, inscribed, and dated lower right: “To Miss Lauter —
This sketch in memory of a pleasant visit to her studio in
Volendam / July 1910, Robert Henri”
A charismatic teacher and founder of the group of artists known as the Eight, Robert Henri was one of the most influential painters of his day. Over the course of his career, Henri traveled frequently, visiting Holland, Spain, Ireland, Maine, California, and New Mexico. He produced numerous paintings during these sojourns, focusing particular attention on portraits of local children. Volendam Boy with Cigarette was painted during Henri’s trip to Holland in 1910, when he spent June and July in Haarlem and July and August in Volendam. It displays the spirited brushwork and vivid palette characteristic of Henri’s work of this period. Here, as in all his portraits, he sought to express the essential vitality and humanity of his subject. The artist’s estate account book listed the work as having been given to Flora Lauter, an American artist living and working in Volendam.