The title of this small volume by Elizabeth Peyton The Age of Innocence is taken from the early 20th century novel of the same name by Edith Wharton. It describes the claustrophobic, repressed, hypocritical atmosphere of New York society in the 1870's. In the novel passion is shown as the force that would make that highly ritualized world implode.
Elizabeth Peyton is a leading contemporary painter, best known for her portraits of artists, musicians, historical figures, and a few athletes. Peyton studied at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and continues to live and work there. In 1993, her second solo exhibition in a room of the Chelsea Hotel, which featured images of Mademoiselle George, lover of Napoléon, Ludwig II of Bavaria, the king of Thailand and others, opened to great critical acclaim. Her later portraits of particular artists, musicians, and other cultural figures have been hailed for their expert use of color and design, and for their evocative, descriptive qualities.
Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She currently lives and works in Long Island, NY.