Jessie Willcox Smith
- Jessie Willcox Smith
- Merry Christmas: Two Children Before the Fireplace
- mixed media on paperboard
Born in Philadelphia in 1863, Jessie Willcox Smith originally trained as a kindergarten teacher before discovering her talent and skill for drawing in her early twenties. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts under Thomas Eakins and five years later was accepted into the inaugural class at Howard Pyle's eponymous school of illustration. Following graduation she began illustrating for publications such as Century, Collier's Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar, Leslie's, McClure's, Scribner's, Women's Home Companion and Good Housekeeping. She was also commissioned to illustrate advertisements, of which the present work is an example.