Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson

Sara Paxton Ball Dodson, paintings

Sara Paxton Ball Dodson, paintings

Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson was an American painter, active in the late 19th century, who was born in Philadelphia and studied there at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, as well as in Paris where she spent a notable portion of her career.

Her style and subject matter ranged from influences of French neo-classical painting to the Frency Symbolism and the Paris Salon to plein air landscape and Pre-Raphaelite painting.

2 Replies to “Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson”

  1. Painting #1; What a horrible headscarf! Is the painting symbolic religeous?
    Compared to The Bacidae it’s weird.

  2. The Bacidae was part of a series of salon pictures. It shows two priestesses of Baccis, a noted soothsayer, who studied the entrails of birds in order to make his predictions. Haruspices, or haruspex in singular form, are people seasoned to carry out a type of divination known as Haruspicy. Haruspicy is a divination that uses natural phenomenon such as lightning and this practice also uses the internal organs or innards of animal sacrifices. Haruspices examine intestines and livers of, mostly but not restricted to, sheep and poultry. Another term for Haruspicy is Extispicy.
    The painting represents an old priestess initiating a new (and alarmed) member of the order. This large canvas was exhibited at the 1883 Paris Salon. Dodson received praise for her technique, which was described as “virile in color and draftsmanship, powerful without exaggeration, masculine without straining.” The Bacidae became the artist’s best known work.

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