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"Harry Willson Watrous is one of those rare figures who does not have a Wikipedia page [in 2010], but there are many short biographies of him on the Internet. He was an academic portrait painter, and at the time he completed The Drop Sinister, his work seemed to consist mostly of decorative work: Pretty young women reclining in elaborate costumes, and still lifes. He doesn’t seem to have painted any other political pieces. I have no idea what motivated him to create The Drop Sinister. I wish I did." (https://ajoconnell.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/the-drop-sinister/)
American artist. He joined the National Academy of Design in 1895, was its secretary from 1898 to 1920 and its president in 1933–1934. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Watrous)
Harry Willson Watrous (San Francisco, Sept. 17, 1857 - New York, May 10, 1940); American painter best known for his academic idealized portraits. He also painted landscapes and still lifes. (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki)
Taken to New York City at age 7, Watrous was educated in several private schools in Manhattan. He received some training in art from his tutor, F. Hatch, and was enrolled for one term in the National Academy's Antique School in 1873. After turning down an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, he began work as an artist, painting bucolic landscapes..... Back in New York in 1886, Watrous married artist and novelist Elizabeth S. Nichols. They built a summer home on Lake George in 1891. When his eyesight began to fail at the turn of the century, Watrous abandoned his meticulous Meissonier-inspired manner and began to paint larger, broader female studies and landscapes. In the latter category, he was influenced by Ralph Blakelock, a good friend whose work Watrous championed, sold, and following Blakelock's death, authenticated. The final phase of his career began in 1923, when he developed a nearly exclusive devotion to still life painting.