The most distinguished African-American artist of the nineteenth century, Henry Ossawa Tanner, was also the first artist of his race to achieve international recognition. As a young man, Tanner enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, later going to Paris to study at the Academie Julian. He joined the American Art Students’ Club, and spent a summer in Pont-Aven’s artist colony. By the end of the 19th C, Tanner’s choice of subject matter had been influenced by a growing consciousness of his racial identity, and he began creating dignified and sympathetic portrayals of Black people in art, as exemplified by The Banjo Lesson. Tanner went on to create numerous biblical scenes, for which he became best known.