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Henry Bacon papers, 1849-1931

Biographical Note

Painter and writer, Henry Bacon (1839-1912) spent much of his career and life in France and Egypt. He is best known for his watercolor depictions of Egyptian desert scenes.
Henry Bacon was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1839. During the Civil War, ee enlisted in the Union Army and served as corporal in Company D, 4th Battalion of Rifles of the 13th Massachusetts Regiment. Also during the war, he worked as a field artist for Leslie's Weekly. He suffered an injury at the Second Battle of Bull Run and was discharged in 1864. That same year, he married Lizzie Lord and moved to France. The couple settled in Paris where Bacon studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Alexandre Cabanel. He spent many summers in Étretat, France--a subject he painted and wrote about in his bookÉtretat: Hamlet of the Setting Sun.
After the death of Lizzie Lord, Bacon married Louisa Lee Andrews. In the 1890s, Henry and Louisa spent their time split between London and Egypt. It was during this time that Bacon produced his many watercolor scenes of the desert, the Nile River, and of the Egyptian people. Henry Bacon died in Cairo in 1912.