14 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 15


Woman and bouquet of flowers, c. 1670 

Oil on canvas

 108 x 108,5 cm 

Private Collection

Roman School, 17th Century. Both Michelangelo and Raphael worked in Rome, making it the centre of High Renaissance; in the 17th century it was the centre of the Baroque movement represented by Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. From the 17th century the presence of classical remains drew artists from all over Europe including Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Piranesi, Pannini and Mengs.

In the 17th century Italian art was diffused mainly from Rome, the indisputable centre of the Baroque.

Roman Mannerism, spread abroad by the prolific work of Federico and Taddeo Zuccari, was continued by Roncalli, called Pomarancio and especially by Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavaliere d’Arpino, whose reputation was immense. The reaction against Mannerism engendered two different movements, which were sometimes linked together: one was realist with Caravaggio, the other eclectic and decorative with the Carracci.

Caravaggio brought about the greatest pictorial revolution of the century. His imposing compositions, deliberately simplified, are remarkable for their rigorous sense of reality and for the contrasting light falling from one side that accentuates the volumes. He changed from small paintings of genre and still-life, clear in light and cool in colour, to harsh realism, strongly modelled volumes and dramatic light and shade. His work, like his life, caused much scandal and excited international admiration.

Among the Italian disciples of Caravaggio Carlo Saraceni was the only direct Venetian follower. Bartolomeo Manfredi imitated Caravaggio’s genre paintings; Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi showed a marked realism. Caravaggio’s biographer and enemy, Giovanni Baglione underwent his influence. More Roman School

Anders Leonard Zorn, (1860–1920)

La fille à la cigarette, c. 1892

Anders Leonard Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920) was one of Sweden’s foremost artists. He obtained international success as a painter, sculptor and etcher. From 1875 to 1880 Zorn studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm. Members of Stockholm society approached him with commissions. Zorn traveled extensively to London, Paris, the Balkans, Spain, Italy and the United States, becoming an international success as one of the most acclaimed painters of his era. It was primarily his skill as a portrait painter that gained Zorn international acclaim based principally upon his incisive ability to depict the individual character of his model. At 29, he was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur at the Exposition Universelle 1889 Paris World Fair. More Anders Leonard Zorn

Anders Zorn (1860–1920)

Portrait of Elizabeth Sherman Cameron, c. 1900

Oil on canvas

Private collection

Elizabeth Sherman Cameron (1857-1944), the niece of Gen. William T. Sherman, was a beautiful, charming, and intelligent woman. She had the misfortune, however, to be dragooned at 20 into a loveless marriage with Senator Don Cameron (R–Pa.), a wealthy 44-year-old widower with six children. The children never accepted her. The marriage was further strained by the Senator’s coarseness and indifference and his fondness for bourbon. More Elizabeth Sherman Cameron

Elizabeth was considered to be one of the most beautiful and intelligent women in the Washington area. She first met  Henry Adams  in January 1881. Adams initiated a correspondence with her on May 19, 1883, when her husband and she departed for Europe. That letter reflected his unhappiness with her departure and his longing for her return. It was the first of hundreds to follow for the next 35 years. They would record a passionate yet unconsummated relationship. 

His subsequent love for the Senator’s estranged wife became an enduring tragicomic obsession (Adams called himself her “”tame cat””), which we can now follow from Washington to the Fiji Islands to Paris. More Lizzie Cameron and Henry Adams

Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 – March 27, 1918) was an American historian and member of the Adams political family, being descended from two U.S. Presidents.More Henry Adams

Anders Leonard Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920), see above

MEISTER OF MANSI MAGDALENA (CIRCULAR), (Active around 1510 – 1530 in Antwerp)

The death of Cleopatra as an allegory of temptation.

Oil on wood.

47.5 x 35.5 cm.

Private Collection

Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 – August 12, 30 BC), was the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the recently established Roman Empire.

Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Macedonian Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death. The Ptolemies spoke Greek throughout their dynasty, and refused to speak Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents such as the Rosetta Stone. By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes, and later with her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne.

After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar’s legal heir Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helio. Antony committed suicide after losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian’s forces, and Cleopatra followed suit. According to tradition, she killed herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. More Cleopatra

Master of the Mansi Magdalenactive early 16th century. The Master is named from a picture known as ‘The Mansi Magdalen’ (Berlin, Staatliche Museum), perhaps of about 1525 or later. The Master borrowed from some of the engravings by Dürer, one as late as 1511. He was a follower of Quinten Massys. More Master of the Mansi Magdalen

Anders Zorn (1860–1920)

Martha Dana, c. 1899

Oil on canvas

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Martha Isabella Dana (1872-1960) of Boston. She had this portrait commissioned while Zorn stayed in the USA. Within a couple of years after this portrait she married William Robert Mercer (1862-1939). They were both part of the wealthy upper class, and they both inherited considerable sums. Dana would later become a prominent benefactor to local arts institutions. In 1928 she donated this portrait to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. More Martha Isabella Dana 

Anders Leonard Zorn (18 February 1860 – 22 August 1920), see above


Allan Douglas Davidson, (1873–1932)

Model posing

Oil on board

35.6 x 30.5cm (14 x 12in)

Private Collection

Allan Douglas Davidson, R.B.A., R.O.I., R.M.S. (1873–1932) was an English painter who predominantly worked in oils and specialized in female nudes.  He was born in London on 14 May 1873. His father was the historical painter Thomas Davidson (1842–1919). Allan studied art at the Royal Academy Schools in London, where he won a medal and the Armitage Prize, he also studied at the Académie Julian in Paris. He was elected to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1921 and was also a member of the Langham Sketching Club. 

He lived the majority of his life in London before retiring to Walberswick in Suffolk. He died on 19 April 1932 More Allan Douglas Davidson


Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. 1856 – 1941


Oil on canvas

76 by 63.5cm.; 30 by 25in.

Private Collection

A portrait by Sir John Lavery of his wife Hazel, his favourite subject and muse for many years. Lady Lavery was a celebrated society figure between the wars, and the painter’s second wife. He painted her on many occasions but The Gold Turban is regarded as the most important portrait of his wife, who is seen in a gold-coloured hat against a dark background.

Later that year she underwent an operation to remove an impacted wisdom tooth and the effect of the anaesthetic left her debilitated. The following four years were marked by bouts of illness and she died in 1935. More Lady Lavery

Sir John Lavery RA (20 March 1856 – 10 January 1941) was an Irish painter best known for his portraits and wartime depictions. Born in Belfast Lavery attended Haldane Academy in Glasgow in the 1870s and the Académie Julian in Paris in the early 1880s. He returned to Glasgow and was associated with the Glasgow School. In 1888 he was commissioned to paint the state visit of Queen Victoria to the Glasgow International Exhibition. This launched his career as a society painter and he moved to London soon after. In London he became friendly with James McNeill Whistler and was clearly influenced by him.

Lavery was appointed an official artist in the First World War. Ill-health, however, prevented him from travelling to the Western Front. A serious car crash during a Zeppelin bombing raid also kept him from fulfilling this role as war artist. He remained in Britain and mostly painted boats, aeroplanes and airships. 

He and his wife were tangentially involved in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. They gave the use of their London home to the Irish negotiators during the negotiations leading to the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1929, Lavery made substantial donations of his work to both The Ulster Museum and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and in the 1930s he returned to Ireland. He received honorary degrees from the University of Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast. He was also made a free man of both Dublin and Belfast. More

Dorothea Margaret Tanning, (1910 – 2012)  

Birthday (Self Portrait at Age 30), c. 1942

Oil on canvas,

570×363 mm; 22 3/8×14 1/4 inches

Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Dorothea Margaret Tanning (August 25, 1910 – January 31, 2012) was an American painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer, and poet. Her early work was influenced by Surrealism. After attending Knox College for two years (1928–30), she moved to Chicago in 1930 and then to New York in 1935. There she supported herself as a commercial artist while pursuing her own painting, and discovered Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art’s seminal 1938. Impressed by her creativity and talent in illustrating fashion advertisements, the art director at Macy’s department store introduced her to the gallery owner Julien Levy, who immediately offered to show her work. 

Tanning first met Max Ernst in 1942. Later he dropped by her studio to consider her work for an exhibition of work by women artists at The Art of This Century gallery, which was owned by Peggy Guggenheim, Ernst’s wife at the time. As Tanning recounts in her memoirs, he was enchanted by her iconic self-portrait Birthday (1942, Philadelphia Museum of Art). The two played chess, fell in love, and embarked on a life together. They lived in New York for several years before moving to Sedona, where they built a house and hosted visits from many friends crossing the country. Tanning and Ernst were married in 1946 in a double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner in Hollywood.

In 1949, Tanning and Ernst relocated to France, where they divided their time between Paris and Touraine, returning to Sedona for intervals through the early and mid 1950s. They lived in Paris and later Provence until Ernst’s death in 1976, after which Tanning returned to New York. She continued to create studio art in the 1980s, then turned her attention to her writing and poetry in the 1990s and 2000s, working and publishing until the end of her life. Tanning died on January 31, 2012, at her Manhattan home at age 101. More Dorothea Margaret Tanning

Léonard Foujita, 1886 – 1968


Pen and ink, brush and wash on paper

8 3/4 x 11 1/2 in.

Private Collection

A mantilla is a traditional Spanish lace or silk veil or shawl worn over the head and shoulders, often over a high comb called a peineta, popular with women in Spain.[1] the shape, design and use are different form an ordinary veil. More mantilla

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (November 27, 1886 – January 29, 1968) was a Japanese–French painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan, who applied Japanese ink techniques to Western style paintings. He has been called “the most important Japanese artist working in the West during the 20th century”.

In 1910, when he was twenty-four years old Foujita graduated from what is now the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Three years later he went to Montparnasse in Paris, France. When he arrived there, knowing nobody, he met Amedeo Modigliani, Pascin, Chaim Soutine, and Fernand Léger and became friends with Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.

Foujita’s strange yet representational paintings often depict himself, cats, and women. He found nearly immediate success in Paris and, despite having no connections beforehand, Foujita was able to sell and live off his art. More Léonard Foujita

Emil Nolde, 1867 – 1956



21.25 inches high and 16.25 inches wide

Private Collection

Emil Nolde (born Emil Hansen; 7 August 1867 – 13 April 1956) was a German-Danish painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and was one of the first oil painting and watercolor painters of the early 20th century to explore color. He is known for his brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals. More Emil Nolde 

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, 1886 – 1968

YOUKI AU CHAT, c. 1923


Oil on canvas

50.1 by 65cm., 19 3/4 by 25 1/2 in.

Private Collection

In 1921, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita met Lucie Badoud; for the following decade she lived as his muse, lover and wife, inspiring some of the most sensual and striking paintings that the artist ever produced. Together they were celebrities of the Montparnasse social scene; while their names continually graced gossip columns.

Foujita had been taken at once with Lucie’s beauty: her snow-white complexion and sensuous curves. He re-named her ‘Youki’, meaning ‘snow’ in Japanese. She remembers: “I didn’t like my first name, Lucie. So Foujita’s first move was to ‘de-baptise’ me and rename me Youki; his second: to request I pose for a large nude painting It was precisely at this time, when Foujita introduced into his œuvre two of the elements for which he is today most celebrated: his mastery of the nude figure and his ‘fond blanc’, a specific white ground which he applied on canvases to give them a luminous quality. The latter technique was developed out of the artist’s desire to represent what he now considered the most beautiful of materials: human skin. More Youki

Moïse Kisling, 1891 – 1953


Oil on canvas

28 7/8 x 21 3/8 in.

Private Collection

Moïse Kisling, born Mojżesz Kisling (January 22, 1891 – April 29, 1953), was a Polish-born French painter. He moved to Paris in 1910 at the age of 19, and became a French citizen in 1915, after serving and being wounded with the French Foreign Legion in World War I. He emigrated to the United States in 1940, after the fall of France, and returned there in 1946.

In 1910, Kisling moved to Montmartre in Paris, and a few years later to Montparnasse; he joined an émigré community made up of artists from eastern Europe as well as Americans and British. At the outbreak of World War I, he volunteered for service in the French Foreign Legion. After being seriously wounded in 1915 in the Battle of the Somme, he was awarded French citizenship.

In 1913 he returned to Montparnasse, where he took a studio and lived for the next 27 years. He became close friends with many of his contemporaries, including Modigliani, who painted a portrait of him in 1916. His style in painting landscapes is similar to that of Marc Chagall. A master at depicting the female body, his surreal nudes and portraits earned him the widest acclaim.

Kisling volunteered for army service again in 1940 during World War II, although he was 49. When the French Army was discharged at the time of the surrender to the Germans, Kisling emigrated to the United States. Kisling returned to France after the war. He died in Sanary-sur-Mer, France on April 29, 1953. A residential street in the town is named after him. More Moïse Kisling

Moïse Kisling, 1891 – 1953

 Rene Kiessling

Oil on canvas fight

National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia, Bulgaria

Salvador Dalí, 1904 – 1989


Oil on panel

41.2 by 33cm., 16 1/4 by 13in.

Private Collection

Dorothy Ducas was a reporter for The New York Evening Post and The New York Herald Tribune and the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Traveling Scholarship. She was with the International News Service when she published a celebrated profile on Eleanor Roosevelt’s efforts to expand what first ladies—and women in general—could achieve on the public stage. More Dorothy Ducas

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to an “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.

Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics. More Salvador Dalí

Acknowledgement: Sotheby’s

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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