Buying Madge Tennent paintings – Highest Prices Paid: Artist Bio & images follow:
MADGE TENNENT (British/American, 1889-1972).
Madge Tennent was born on June 22, 1889 in Dulwich, England, the daughter of Arthur and Agnes Cook. She moved to South Africa at the age of five, and at twelve attended the Cape Town School of Art. Considered a child prodigy, Tennent was sent to Paris at age thirteen where she studied at the Academic Julian, and with the academic painter Bougereau. Upon her return to South Africa she started a school of art in Cape Town and taught there until her marriage to New Zealander Hugh Cowper Tennent in 1915.
After their marriage the couple lived briefly in New Zealand, where Madge became the head of the art school in Invercargill. After her husband obtained a government position in Samoa, they moved there for six years where their two sons were born.
On their way to England in 1923 the Tennents stopped in Honolulu where they impulsively decided to stay. Hugh Tennent opened an accounting firm, and Madge worked to paint and draw the native people. Influenced by the works of Gaugain and other Post-Impressionists, her work developed rapidly, and during the 1930’s Tennent had shows in New York and Chicago. She also published a book “The Autobiography of an Unarrived Artist” in 1936.
Tennent’s best known oil paintings were executed in bold colors, with heavy impasto, often on burlap, or on canvasses that had been sewn together. She also became known for her gestural sepia and ink wash drawings which often portray Tennent’s view of Hawaiian beauty.
Madge Tennent died in Honolulu on February 5, 1972 at the age of eighty-two. Her legacy is carried on by the Tennent Art Foundation Gallery in Hawaii.
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