Urgent Museum Notice

Lilla Cabot Perry

Black-and-white interior photograph of a light-skinned adult woman in profile with dark hair in a bun and a light-color dress. She stands in front of an easel and holds a palatte and brushes in her left hand. She rests her right hand on a painting of a light-skinned young girl.

Unknown photographer, c. 1890

1848–1933

Perry developed a solid reputation during her lifetime as a painter and a poet, helping to promote Impressionism in the U.S. and Japan.

After marrying, Perry and her family traveled widely, living in Paris from 1887 to 1889, where Lilla studied painting. She also trained in Munich and copied old-master paintings in Italy, England, and Spain. It was in 1889, when she was 41 years old, that Perry saw her first Impressionist painting (a work by Claude Monet). Perry sought out the artist and became his close friend. For nine summers the Perrys rented a house at Giverny, near Monet’s, and although he never took pupils, he often advised Perry on her art.

Between 1898 and 1901, the family resided in Japan. This experience gave Perry a rare opportunity to study the sources of Impressionism—notably Japanese fabrics and prints—in depth. There, she produced some 80 paintings; she continued to be prolific throughout her life.

Perry exhibited her work at the Paris Salon and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and won medals for her paintings at important exhibitions in Boston, St. Louis, and San Francisco. She was active in numerous arts organizations and published four well-received volumes of verse.

Artist Details

  • Name

    Lilla Cabot Perry
  • Birth

    Boston, 1848
  • Death

    Hancock, New Hampshire, 1933
  • Phonetic Spelling

    (L-EYE)-lah KAB-iht PAIR-ee

Works by Lilla Cabot Perry

Lady With a Bowl of Violets

In Lady with a Bowl of Violets, Lilla Cabot Perry demonstrated her love of light-infused Impressionist colors and bravura brushwork.

Painted after the Perry family returned from Tokyo, this composition features a Japanese woodblock print and simple floral arrangement behind the sitter’s head. The artist dramatically cropped both the print and flowers in a manner reminiscent of traditional Japanese art....

A young woman sits on a chair with her hair in a loose bun, wearing a white lace-trim gown. Her body turns slightly right towards a fireplace, its orange glow reflected on her hair and torso. The room is light and clean and a dark bowl overflowing with violets sits on the mantle.