The Art of Elsie Russell

Elsie Russell was born in 1956 in Nevers, France of French and American painter parents. Her mother Andrée Déscharnes was a graduate of the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris and a classically trained still life painter. Elsie's father Alfred Russell is an acclaimed abstract expressionist painter, who in the early 1950's switched to a figurative style inspired by the art of Hellenistic Greece. A former "The Club" member and friend to many of the giants of abstract expressionism in the late forties and fifties, his major legacy now is to the new generation of artists who attended his legendary courses at Brooklyn College where he taught for 25 years. Here, he helped to re-establish the traditional curriculum for art students by reviving the study of anatomy and geometry as well as drawing from classical sculpture and copying old master paintings in museums. Russell also tutored and guided his daughter Elsie in these subjects.

Elsie grew up in France, Italy and Spain as well as in NYC. She graduated from St. Stephen's School in Rome, Italy, then attended The Art Student's League of New York and Pratt Institute before continuing her studies in Paris at several private ateliers, including the Institut de Déssin Baudry and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

While still a child, Elsie was introduced to Salvador Dali through her uncle Robert Déscharnes, who was his closest friend and collaborator, and Dali encouraged Elsie to become an artist, recognizing her creative mind and her abilities as a draughtsman.

Elsie Russell's work has been exhibited throughout Europe and the U.S., and is in many collections both here and abroad. Her work has also been used in numerous books and publications on Mythology and Contemporary Classicism.

More Paintings by Elsie Russell

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The Three Graces
1993, oil on linen, 43"x43"
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Gaia Altarpiece
1992, oil on canvas, 48"x 48"
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1994, oil on linen 30"36"
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The Madness of Hölderlin
1995, oil on linen, 48"x60"






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1998, oil on linen, 40" x 18"
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A Mirror in Which to Dwell
1999, oil on linen, 56" x 44"
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1997, oil on linen, 35" x 36"
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Amplified Song
1999, oil on linen, 19" x 21"
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1997, oil on linen, 22" x 34"
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1997, oil on linen, 26" x 36"
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1997, oil on linen, 24" x 36"
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Marni in the Embroidered Kimonoi
1997, oil on linen, 20" x 32"
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Skull and Boots I
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"
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Skull and Boots II
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"
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Skull and Pomegranates
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"
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The Anatomy Lesson
16"x 20",oil on canvas, 1993
Cabbage and Cloth
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"
Homage a De Chirico
16"x 20",oil on canvas, 1993
Cabbage, Tomatoes and Mushrooms
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"
Bread, Knife and Cloth
1992, oil on linen, 16" x 20"