Biography: Edwin Howland Blashfield was one of the nation's leading academic painters and muralists. Born in Brooklyn, he moved to Boston at age 13 to attend Boston Latin School and then enrolled in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The unexpected death of his godfather provided an inheritance that allowed him to study art. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before moving to Europe in 1867 to study with Léon Bonnat in Paris. He remained in Europe until 1881, traveling, painting, and exhibiting his work in important international exhibitions, including the Paris Salons. He was particularly influenced by the classical and Renaissance art and architecture that he saw in Italy. Upon his return he found success producing genre paintings and illustrations, often of classical subjects. By the turn of the century, Blashfield was one of the nation's leading mural painters.