Louis KronbergAmerican, 1872-1965
Louis Kronberg, a popular portraitist of the early 20th century, became best known for his specialty: pictures of the theater and its performers, particularly dancers and dancing. Kronberg, who lived for many years in Paris, was born in Boston in 1872. A well known American painter, etcher and teacher, Louis Kronberg studied at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Art Students League of New York under William Merritt Chase. A Longfellow traveling scholarship enabled him to study abroad for three years. From 1894 to 1897 Kronberg attended the Académie Julien in Paris, studying under Benjamin Constant, Jean Paul Laurens and Rapheal Collin. In Paris, stimulated by the original works of the Impressionists, Kronberg began to paint in a freer, lighter mode.
Kronberg’s early oil paintings were in an academic style, somewhat dark, with a subdued tonal effect. However, influenced by the techniques of James McNeill Whistler, the compositions of Edgar Degas, and his own interest in oriental woodcuts and engravings, Kronberg evolved a new personal style – animated, dramatic, and adventurous in design. Kronberg worked increasingly in watercolor and pastel to create portraits and scenes of the ballet. A trip to Spain in 1921-1922 led to a renowned series of Spanish and Gypsy folk dancers, in watercolor, oil and pastel. Popular well into the first third of the 20th century, Kronberg made portraits of many notables of the United States and Europe.
Louis Kronberg was a member of the Boston Art Club, National Academy of Design and Salon des Beaux Arts in Paris. He received the Chevalier Legion d’honneur in 1951. Kronberg’s paintings were shown in important exhibitions and acquired by leading museums such as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Musée d’Oursay in Paris, the Luxembourg Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, the National Academy of design, Universal Exposition, the Corcoran Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and, due to the great friendship the artist had with Isabella Stewart Gardner, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, also in Boston.