HINCKLEY Robert Cutler


Oil on canvas: 258.5 x 131.5 cm / 101.8 x 51.8 ins
Signed lower left

Painter of portraits, history and genre scenes.
Robert Cutler Hinckley was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on April 3, 1853. He was the son of Samuel Lyman Hinckley and Anne Cutler Parker. As a teen, he was taken by his parents to Paris for formal training in art, graduating from the École des Beaux-Arts. In his twenty years there, he trained from 1864 to 1884 under master portraitist Charles Auguste Emile Durand, alongside John Singer Sargent. His most famous painting is “The First Operation with Ether”, which he began in Paris in 1882. It was the first successful public demonstration of ether anesthesia. It has become one of the most popular paintings in medical history and is on display at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was also known for his mammoth historical painting, “Alexander at Persepolis”, completed at the Salon in 1882. In 1884, after returning from Europe, Hinckley established a studio in Washington, D.C. where he was known for portraits of eminent Americans. In addition to his portraits, he also taught a portrait class at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design for six years. He painted many portraits of American Society individuals including President Ulysses S. Grant and John Alsop King, the president of the New-York Historical Society. 88 of his portraits were on display at West Point Military Academy. Hinckley died at his residence in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on June 2, 1941.

This particular painting has been exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1880 (Cat. Nr. 1853).
This particular painting is published on the wikipedia webpage of the painter.

Northampton, Massachusetts, USA 1853 - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA 1941
American School


E. Bénézit, "Dictionary of Artists", Paris 2006, Vol. 7, p. 106.
Ministère de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts; Sous-secrétariat d'Etat des Beaux-Arts, "Salon de 1880; 97e exposition officielle depuis l'année 1673", Paris 1880, Cat. Nr. 1853.