The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 5, 2024



(American, 1856–1919)
Unframed: 106 x 165.5 cm (41 3/4 x 65 3/16 in.)
Location: not on view


This painting demonstrates Cox's ideas about the importance in art of tradition and the classical spirit. Two figures in Grecian costumes, representing the arts of the past, pass on the eternal flame of tradition to two figures in Renaissance dress. Literature wears the laurel crown, and Painting holds the palette. Born in Warren, Ohio, Cox studied art in Cincinnati and at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1877, he moved to Paris to study under Carolus Duran (1838-1917) and Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904). Five years later, Cox returned to New York where he established himself as a leader in the academic and conservative movement known as the American Renaissance. The artist achieved particular fame as a muralist; however by 1916, his health deteriorating, he turned his attention to paintings on canvas.
  • artist's brother.
  • Cleveland Museum of Art. Catalogue of an Exhibition of American Painting from 1860 Until Today at the Cleveland Museum of Art. [Cleveland]: [Printed by the Artcraft Printing Co.], 1937. cat. no. 34, p. 17.
    "Accessions." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 4, no. 2 (1917): 26-37. Mentioned: p. 26
    Serie, Pierre. "New York troisieme Rome : pourquoi l'Amerique resista si longtemps a l'idee d'art moderne." Revue de l'art 191, (2016): 71-79. Reproduced: p. 72, fig. 2
  • Exhibition of American Painting from 1860 Until Today. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (June 23-October 4, 1937).
    Paintings by Ohio Artists. Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (organizer) (November 28, 1967-January 14, 1968).
    Cleveland Collects American Art of the Gilded Age. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 23-May 18, 2003).
    Youngstown, OH, The Butler Art Institute, March 20 - April 12, 1942: "Ohio Artists of the Past," cat. no. 16
    New York, The Art Student's League, March 15 - May 13, 1951: "Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Exhibition," cat. no. 12
    Akron, OH, The Akron Art Institute, 1967-1968: "Paintings by Ohio Artists."
    Washington, D. C., National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 1975: "150th Anniversary of The National Academy of Design," cat. no. 98, p. 203, repr. p. 202.
  • {{cite web|title=Tradition|url=false|author=Kenyon Cox|year=1916|access-date=05 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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