Click to search scene gallery.
Click for help topics.

When Paul Sawyier was in grade-school, his father brought Miss Elizabeth S. Hutchins from Cincinnati, Ohio to instruct Paul and his sister Lillian. At 20, Sawyier attended the Cincinnati Art Academy and studied under Thomas Noble, who had studied with Edouard Manet. In Cincinnati, Sawyier shared a studio with Henry Sharp and earned a living by painting portraits. At 23, Sawyier attended the Art Students League of New York, instructed by William Merritt Chase. At the school Sawyier observed the work of artist John Singer Sargent. Two years later, at 25, Sawyier began study at the Cincinnati Art Club under Frank Duveneck, who had painted in Europe with William Merritt Chase. Both Duveneck and Chase were renowned portrait artists.

Paul Sawyier signed his paintings in one of two styles. Why he changed it in 1912 is unknown. While living in Kentucky, he signed his paintings with all letters in capitals and block style. After moving to New York his signature was represented by a capital “P” and “S” with the other letters in lower case and cursive. A few paintings do not have a signature.

Sawyier rarely dated his paintings. When and why he did seems to have no pattern or reason. However, his signature can be used to indicate whether the work was completed in Kentucky or New York. There is evidence that he occasionally referenced photographs. Some of his Kentucky scenes were definitely completed in New York, such as “A Rainy Day in Frankfort”.