Anastasia Egeli is a third generation artist, carrying on the tradition of a pre-eminent family in American portrait painting. Her grandfather, Bjorn Egeli, emigrated from Norway as a teenager and went on to establish a successful portrait practice. His prestigious commissions include two presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon, prominent historical figures such as Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur and several Supreme Court justices. All of Bjorn’s children, including Cedric, Anastasia’s father, became artists themselves. Cedric, in particular, went on to establish an important portrait and teaching practice and is also represented by Portraits, Inc.
Successful artists often attribute their advance to important student-teacher relationships — the latter being the means to which they became heirs to a significant school of practice. Cedric’s artistic lineage is noteworthy. He studied with Henry Hensche, who in turn studied with Charles Hawthorne. Hawthorne was an early pioneer in American Impressionism and the founder of the Cape Code School of Art. Hawthorne, and his school’s subsequent student generations, developed a realist painting method informed by a colorist sensibility that continues to appeal to a wide array of patrons. As heir to this lineage, Cedric’s portrait work has earned a prestigious following, with pieces in the collections of the Pentagon, John’s Hopkins and Duke University.
Likewise, having studied both with her father Cedric, his teacher Henry Hensche, and America’s preeminent portraitist Nelson Shanks (also a Hensche student), Anastasia is now heir to the New England School of Painting. As such, she infuses her portraits with luminous color and lively brushwork. Her spirited sitters glow with life—as if basking in the brilliant light and clean fresh air of a Cape Cod summer. Currently, Anastasia completes commission work in her studio in New York City. She offers portrait workshops at the Egeli studio in Maryland and teaches color theory during the summer at the Cape School in Provincetown, MA.