"LEDA AND THE SWAN"
MIXED MEDIA ON BOARD, SIGNED
AMERICAN, C. 1940
18.5 X 10 INCHES
1892 - 1959
John Carroll was a painter famous for his portraits of dreamy, diaphanous women. He also painted landscapes but his portraits became his signature pieces. He painted his subjects in an idealistic way using sweeping strokes and a full brush.
Carroll was born on a train while his family was traveling through Wichita, Kansas in 1892. His father was originally from West Virginia but decided to move the family to California in 1892. Carroll grew-up in San Francisco and spent most of his summers on a nearby ranch. He developed an interest in art at an early age and after studying in public school attended the Mark Hopkins Art Academy in San Francisco, California. He continued his studies at the Mark Hopkins Art Academy for three years before becoming an engineering student at the University of California Berkeley for two years (1913-1915). In 1915 he studied art in Cincinnati, Ohio, where an early influence was Frank Duveneck, with whom he studied.
After a brief involvement with the U.S. Navy in World War I, Carroll moved to Macon, Georgia where he continued to paint. He eventually resettled in New York and was a member of the Woodstock art colony before 1922. While living in New York Carroll designed stained-glass windows for Tiffany &Co. in New York City and also made picture frames for his artist friends.
He received his first critical acclaim when he won an award for his art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, Philadelphia. Carroll went on to teach at the Art Students League in New York and won an award for his art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts, Philadelphia. He became an instructor at the Art Students League in New York in 1926 and traveled to Europe the following year on a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In 1930 he became head of the painting department at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. During this period Carroll developed a flair for a painting portraits, exaggerating the delicate qualities of his female subjects, which gave the women an otherworldly appearance. He returned to the Art Students League in New York in 1944 and continued to teach there and exhibit his art in New York. He maintained a studio in New York City but also spent great deal of time on his three hundred acre ranch in East Chatham, New York.
Carroll died in Albany, New York in 1959.