Henry Davenport

Henry Davenport (1882-1965) graduated from Harvard University in 1904, then traveled to Paris and was accepted into the architecture program at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Davenport studied painting for two years at the Julian Academy in Paris before returning to Boston in 1914; he continued studies under Charles W. Hawthorne and George Elmer Browne at Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 1916 Davenport founded the Clouet School of Art in Paris and continued to teach there for ten years. He also taught at Yale’s art school and was active in national and regional group shows. Davenport had his first solo show at the Copley Gallery in Boston during March of 1918. He listed himself as a portrait painter and architect in 1919. At Harvard, the versatile Davenport was an Assistant Professor in the History of Art. Within the rather tight structure of his paintings, Davenport allowed a certain painterly freedom of brushwork.

Davenport’s palette consists of the three secondary colors: purple, green, and orange, and the composition is perfectly balanced. Much area has been left for the sky, as the whole foreground has been devoted to a focus on these strong geometric forms. The stream, which runs the full width of the foreground, is where peasant women wash their clothes; it is also a wonderful reflector of the village and the sky. A favorite place for many French and American expatriate artists, the Brittany village figured prominently in exhibitions for decades.

Courtesy of R.H. Love Gallery, Peoria, Illinois