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Graphite on paper
Francesca Alexander sketched these abbreviated tree trunks as a precocious teenager in Boston. Her family spent summers in Swampscott, an area northeast of the city, and Alexander retained a fondness for her childhood haunts even after they moved, in 1853, to Florence, Italy. She remained there the rest of her life, chronicling the local folklore and making subtle pen-and-ink drawings. In 1882, she was introduced to the English art critic John Ruskin, who subsequently championed Alexander’s black-and-white images of flowers and figures. The book Roadside Songs of Tuscany (1884), edited by Ruskin and lavishly illustrated by Alexander, furthered her association with the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
The John Driscoll American Drawings Collection
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