1940: Growth as an Artist in Rome

Robert "Pipp" Pippinger,

Robert "Pipp" Pippinger, 1939 Prix de Rome winner

In 1939 Robert Pippinger, who had won the Prix de Rome in Sculpture that year, arrived at the American Academy, and Davis appreciated his company.

“Pippinger has given me some good and constructive criticism. Until he came I received no Constructive criticism from anyone and I’m darn glad that Pipp is here now. We have had some good and instructive talks together. He has several things started, makes the work of the past sculptors, at least for the last two years, look sick. Really, Pipp is getting right into the spirit of the whole thing over here. He has a group of two bathing girls well under way and I think they are swell.

“So Pipp and I have quite a bit in common, I mean that we are both interested in accomplishing something and are quite serious about it and we can give one another good suggestions.”

Harry Davis, letter to Donald Mattison, April 2, 1940 

Harry A. Davis Jr. Working on a Fresco at the American Academy in Rome

Harry A. Davis Jr. Working on a Fresco at the American Academy in Rome

“I am painting my fresco in the afternoon and am working on a large oil painting with several nudes in the morning. That way I handle two various mediums and it’s a relaxation to change that way. My fresco is coming along much faster than I had expected and it’s a wonderful medium. I like it very much and such rich colors one can get—it’s amazing.... The large oil is a lot of fun for me, too, I’m doing some nudes bathing but really the subject is Acteon and Diana, a Greek Mythological story, and it’s an excuse for the nudes. They are almost life size and I’m painting the thing in a very high Rey and very colorful.”

Harry Davis, letter to Donald Mattison, April 25, 1940

Acteon and Diana

Acteon and Diana Bathing, 1940

1940: Growth as an Artist in Rome