Charles Courtney Curran was an American painter born in the state of Kentucky in 1861, in the town of Hartford. Due to the ravages of the American Civil War Charles and the rest of the Curran family were forced to flee soon after his birth, settling in Ohio in the North.
Curran showed an interest in art at a very young age. He travelled to the state of Cincinnati to study at what was then known as the McMicken School, and is now called the Fine Arts Academy of Cincinnati. He did not stay long however, and in the next year he moved once more, this time to New York City, to continue his studies at the National Academy of Design. He also joined the Art Students League, a group for budding artists in the city.
Curran's work began to focus more and more on the female form, doing different tasks and in different poses, such as Breezy Day, painted in 1887, which won the Third Hallgarten Prize for Oils from the National Academy of Design for in the following year. He was soon married and him and his wife travelled to Europe together.
Curran spent a few years studying in Paris France at the Académie Julian before he and his family returned to the United States of America. During his time in Paris Curran painted his early works including; In the Luxembourg (Garden) in 1889, and Afternoon in the Cluny Garden, Paris, from the same year. Both works focused on attractive young women. After returning to America he founded an art studio in New York and began to focus on painting some of his early masterpieces. Curran took inspiration from the Ohio landscape, where his family lived, as well as the shorelines of the Great Lake Eerie. His paintings often included family members and friends as models, but they were almost always attractive younger women.
He travelled with his wife in the summers to a place called Cragsmoor, where he was to create some of the best paintings of his life, including; On the Heights, painted in 1909, and Hilltop Walk, which he completed in 1927. Curran continued to paint during the First World War snd added portrait painting to his repertoire, but always kept to his classical style. In his later years Curran was appointed to the very prestigious position as Secretary of New York City's renowned institution, the National Academy of Design. Charles Courtney Curran passed away in 1942 at the height of World War Two, at the age of sixty one.