William M. Chase called Cecilia Beaux not only “the greatest living woman painter, but the best that ever lived.” One of the most well-known woman portrait painters of the 19th and 20th century, she was born in Philadelphia in 1855 and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris with Bouguereau, Robert-Fleury, and B. Constant, as well as with Charles Lazar. After her return from Paris in 1889, she became the first full-time female instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a position that she held for twenty years. During this period, she established an excellent reputation as a portraitist, with some of her more famous sitters being Henry James and Theodore Roosevelt. She continued to travel to France, where she met Claude Monet at Giverny in 1896. An integral member of the national and international artist community, she became friends with John Singer Sargent, with whom she was often compared, as well as Childe Hassam and Abbot Thayer. Later in her career, she settled in Gloucester, MA, where she died in 1942.