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“Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting” by Alexandre Cabanel

Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting

“Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting” by Alexandre Cabanel was painted ten years after Olivia Peyton Murray’s (1855-1949) married William Bayard Cutting (1850-1912), a member of New York’s merchant aristocracy. The couple were members of New York’s “Gilded Age”. A period of time from the 1860s until the early 1900s, when wealth was accumulated, concentrated and flaunted as never before in America.

Olivia was an American debutante of the 1870s, confident in her position at the highest level of society.  A descendant of landowning ancestors mentioned in the Doomsday Book who owned swaths of Surrey, and whose later descendants owned large tracts of land in Manhattan. In 1877 she married Cutting, and like the Murrays, the Cuttings had been in America since the 18th century and well established.  Together they had four children.

Alexandre Cabanel was a French painter who painted historical, classical and religious subjects in the academic style, he was also well known as a portrait painter.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                  Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting
  • Artist:                Alexandre Cabanel
  • Year:                  1887
  • Material:           Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:     276 × 149 cm (108.7 × 58.7 in)
  • Museum:           Museum of the City of New York

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                Alexandre Cabanel
  • Born:                 1823 – Montpellier, France
  • Died:                  1889 (aged 65) – Paris, France
  • Nationality:      French
  • Movement:       Academicism
  • Notable works:
    • Birth of Venus
    • Olivia Peyton Murray Cutting

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“Make your mark in New York, and you are a made man.” Mark Twain

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Photo Credit: Alexandre Cabanel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons