Carle J. Blenner's enduring success, first as an international society portraitist and later as a painter of floral still lifes, rested firmly on a precocious talent and impeccable training. Born in 1864 in Richmond, Virginia, Blenner was educated at Marburg, Germany and was graduated from the Yale University Art School.
He studied for six years at the Academie Julien in Paris, under Bouguereau, Robert-Fleury and Aman-Jean. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1887, at age 23, and for the next three years. From the 1890's, he maintained a working studio for more than 50 years on 57th Street in New York City.
Blenner was in demand as a portraitist of the wealthy, titled and famous-particularly women. His subjects included Lady Hamilton, granddaughter of the Duke of Cambridge; Mrs. Raymond White; Lady Chetwynde; and Mme. Nordica, Isabel Irving and Evellun Nesbitt of the Theater. His male portraits were of such personages as the Duke of Cambridge, the Earl of Yarmouth, Richard Henning and Henry Clay Pierce.
Blenner turned to still-life studies of flowers, probably about 1915, and continued to reap awards for these and other works-the last in 1932, when he was 70. His florals reflect his superb training. However, his own sense of textures and his superior use of pigment in the service of light create not only unlabored representations, but revelations of the flowers' essence.
Blenner died In New Haven, Connecticut in 1952, at age 90.
American Federation of Arts
Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts
Greenwich Art Association
New Haven Paint and Clay Club
Newport Art Association
Salmagundi Club, New York
Washington Arts Club, Wash. D.C.
Fort Worth Art Museum
Houston Museum of Fine Arts
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
University of Vermont, Burlington