10 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #10

Pablo Picasso, 1881 – 1973

Madame Canals, Benedetta Bianco. Paris, 1905

Oil and charcoal on canvas. 

90 x 70 cm

Museu Picasso, Barcelona

Once he had settled down definitively in Paris in 1904, Picasso got back in touch with several of his old friends from Barcelona. Without doubt, it was the ties to Ricard Canals which were strengthened the more in these new circumstances, and the portrait of Benedetta Bianco, the sentimental partner of Canals, testifies to that. At the Bateau Lavoir the two couples – Picasso and Fernande, and Canals and Benedetta – established a very close friendship: according to Fernande, Picasso would spend the days in the studio of Canals and Benedetta would make use of her culinary skills to feed everyone when the economic resources were scarce. More on Madame Canals

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. One of his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a naturalistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. His work is often categorized into periods. While the names of many of his later periods are debated, the most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period.

Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments, and became one of the best-known figures in 20th-century art. More on Pablo Picasso


Ricardo Canals y Llambi

A Balcony At The Bullfight, 1904

Oil on canvas

157.00 x 256.30 cm

Private collection

Painted in 1904 while Canals was living and working in a studio at the Bateau Lavoir in Montmartre, this animated painting shows a wonderfully elegant array of ladies dressed up for the great social occasion of the bullfight, in manola dress with their black and white mantillas. As part of a typical artistic device, used by Renoir, Manet, and Goya before them, the spectators become the spectacle, The bull ring offered a wonderful opportunity for the audience – especially the ladies – to show off their finery, and became almost as much an occasion for observing one another as it was to follow the performance. More on Balcony At The Bullfight

The two central ladies leaning on the balustrade were Fernande Olivier and Benedetta (‘Bianco’) Coletti. Fernande was muse and model to the Catalan painter Joaquín Sunyer, but she famously left him for Picasso when the latter arrived at the Bateau Lavoir in 1904. The Italian-born Benedetta became Canal’s lover and later his wife. At the beginning of her relationship with Picasso, Fernande was living with Canals and Bianco, and the pose of the central figures in the present work is clearly borrowed directly from a 1904 photograph of the two in Canals’ studio. More on this painting

Ricard Canals i Llambí (13 December 1876, Barcelona – 7 February 1931, Barcelona) was a Catalan Impressionist painter, illustrator and engraver; initially associated with the short-lived “Saffron Group”.

He began his studies in 1893 at the Escola de la Llotja, but stayed only a short time before leaving to travel with friends. He ended up in Paris with Nonell, where he held a successful showing at “Le Barc de Boutteville”, a gallery devoted to young artists. This enabled him to obtain Paul Durand-Ruel as an agent and exhibit throughout Europe and the United States.

Although many of his Parisian paintings were in Spanish costumbrista style, to appeal to his French clients, during this time he came under the influence of Renoir and Degas. He also continued a friendship with Picasso, whom he had met in Barcelona. In 1905, Picasso painted a portrait of the model, Benedetta Bianco (above), who would later become Canals’ wife. The year before, Canals had painted “A Box at the Bullfight”, which portrayed Bianco and Picasso’s future partner, Fernande Olivier (this painting).

He returned to Barcelona in 1907. Three years later, he was named Chairman of the painting section of the newly founded association, “Les Arts i els Artistes”. He remained a member until his death. The organization disbanded in 1936. During this time, he made long stays in Madrid, Seville and Granada, painting a wide variety of subjects, although he is especially remembered for his portraits. More on Canals

Venetian School, 18th/19th century


Oil on panel

6-1/2”h, 5”w

Private collection

Venetian school (art). From the later part of the 15th century, Venice had a distinctive, thriving and influential art scene. Beginning with the work of Giorgione (c. 1477–1510), and the workshop of Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516), major artists of the Venetian school included Titian (1489–1576), Tintoretto (1518–1594), Veronese (1528–1588) and the Bassano (1510–1592). Considered to bring a primacy of color over line, this tradition was seen to contrast with the Mannerism then prevalent in the rest of Italy, and the Venetian style is viewed as having had a great influence on the subsequent development of painting. More on Venetian school

Ignacio Zuloaga, 1870 – 1945, SPANISH

LA OTERITO (Eulalia Franco), c. 1936

Oil on canvas

176 by 120.5cm., 69¼ by 47½in.

Private collection

Zuloaga’s depiction of the dancer Eulalia Franco – familiarly called La Bella Oterito – sitting in her dressing room is one of the most sexually suggestive portraits that he ever painted.

But for wearing a bullfighter’s short cropped chaquetilla, a bouquet of flowers in her hair, and a pair of red satin high-healed shoes on her feet, Eulalia sits proudly naked at her dressing table as she turns to look teasingly at the viewer. Her supremely elegant and confident pose – the product of a colourful career on stage – belies any notion of her own sense of déshabillé. The velvet curtain pulled back to the left of the composition simultaneously alludes to the artist’s debt to the Spanish Baroque, indicates Eulalia’s profession, and – peep-show-like in intent – allows the viewer the opportunity to glory in her titillating state of undress.

Eulalia Franco’s diminutive appellation ‘La Oterito’ is derived from comparisons made of her to another leading dancer of the day Carolina ‘la belle’ Otero (1868-1965), who made her stage reputation in Paris in the role of an Andalusian gypsy and as a star at Les Folies Bergère. Eulalia likewise specialised in performing Spanish dances and songs, and in her free interpretation and exuberant delivery she not only made the most of her curvaceous form, but was widely viewed as technically more accomplished than her namesake. Although she attracted considerable attention within Spain, her reputation was made in performances abroad, where she garnered a huge following as the star attraction in shows across Europe, the USA and South America. More on Eulalia Franco

Ignacio Zuloaga, in full Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (born July 26, 1870, Eibar, near Bilbao, Spain—died Oct. 31, 1945, Madrid) Spanish genre and portrait painter noted for his theatrical paintings of figures from Spanish culture and folklore.

The son of a successful metalworker, Zuloaga was a largely self-taught artist who learned to paint by copying Old Masters in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Beginning about 1890, he split his time between Paris and Spain. In Paris he became acquainted with the artists Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Rodin. Despite his contact with these prominent French artists, however, his main influences were the Spanish masters El Greco, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya.

Inspired by a visit to the Andalusia region of Spain in 1892, Zuloaga began to focus on subject matter from Spanish culture and folklore, such as bullfighters, peasants, and dancers. He used earthen colours almost exclusively and often placed his figures against dramatic landscapes. Zuloaga began to achieve international success with the painting Daniel Zuloaga and His Daughters, which was exhibited in 1899 and purchased by the French government for the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. About 1907 he became a popular society portraitist, an aspect of his career that brought him considerable wealth.

After spending much of his career working in Paris, Zuloaga settled permanently in Spain in 1924. His paintings were exhibited in a highly successful one-man show in New York City in 1925. He was awarded the grand prize for painting at the Venice Biennale in 1938. More on Ignacio Zuloaga


British School, 19th century

Portrait of a lady

Oil on canvas

30-1/4”h, 25-1/4”w.

Private collection

In the 18th century, English painting finally developed a distinct style and tradition again. Sir James Thornhill’s paintings were executed in the Baroque style of the European Continent and William Hogarth reflected the new English middle-class temperament — English in habits, disposition, and temperament, as well as by birth. His satirical works, full of black humour, point out to contemporary society the deformities, weaknesses and vices of London life.

Portraits were, as elsewhere in Europe, most easy and most profitable way for an artist to make a living, and the English tradition continued to draw of the relaxed elegance of the portrait style developed in England by Van Dyck. By the end of the century, the English swagger portrait was much admired abroad, and had largely ceased to look for inspiration abroad.

The early 19th century also saw the emergence of the Norwich school of painters. Influenced by Dutch landscape painting and the landscape of Norfolk. It was short-lived due to sparse patronage and internal faction prominent members.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood movement, established in the 1840s, dominated English art in the second half of the 19th century. Its members concentrated on religious, literary, and genre works executed in a colorful and minutely detailed almost photographic style. More on British School, 18th & 19th century

Auguste Toulmouche, (French 1829-1890)

“Le Billet”   1883 

Oil on Canvas Size

66 x 45 cm

Museum of Fine Arts, Nantes, France

Auguste Toulmouche (September 21, 1829 – October 16, 1890) was a French painter who painted in the academic realism style.  He studied design with a local sculptor and painting with a local portraitist.  In 1846, he moved to Paris.  There he entered the studio of Swiss artist Charles Gleyre and, by 1848, was ready to make his Salon debut.  He was only nineteen years old. He won a third class medal in 1852 and a second class medal in 1861.  In 1870, he was awarded the Legion of Honour.

Toulmouche is best known for his depictions of richly clad women set against the backdrop of luxurious interiors.  His paintings have been called “elegant trifles” and the ladies who feature in them have been referred to as “Toulmouche’s delicious dolls.”  One critic even compared the interiors of a Toulmouche painting to daintily decorated jewel boxes.  

In 1862, Toulmouche married a cousin of Claude Monet.  This alliance led to his being asked to mentor the young Monet.

Auguste Toulmouche died in Paris on October 16, 1890.  Those paintings of his that are not now in private collections can be found hanging in some of the finest museums in the world. More Auguste Toulmouche


Julius LeBlanc Stewart, 1855 – 1919

Portrait of Marie Renard 

Oil on panel 

9 1/2 by 6 inches (24.1 by 15.2 cm)

Private collection

Marie Renard (8 January 1864 – 19 October 1939) was an Austrian operatic mezzo-soprano, later soprano. Born Marie Pölzl, she first studied voice in her native city of Graz and later in Berlin. She debuted in 1882 in Graz as Azucena in Verdi’s Il trovatore, filling in for another singer, and was engaged there until 1884. The following season (1884–1885) she sang at the German Theatre in Prague. After making guest appearances in the title roles at the Berlin Hofoper in 1885, she became a member of that company from 1885 to 1888 and sang there in the premiere of Heinrich Hofmann’s Donna Diana on 15 November 1886.

In 1888 she was engaged by the Vienna Hofoper. She reached the peak of her career and popularity with that company. She was prized above all for her portrayals of roles in French operas (sung in German), in particular as Carmen. One of her most memorable performances was as Charlotte in the world premiere of Massenet’s Werther.

After her retirement she married Count Rudolf Kinsky. She died in her native city of Graz. More on Marie Renard

Julius LeBlanc Stewart (September 6, 1855, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — January 5, 1919, Paris, France), was an American artist who spent his career in Paris. A contemporary of fellow expatriate painter John Singer Sargent.

His father, the sugar millionaire William Hood Stewart, moved the family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Paris in 1865, and became a distinguished art collector. Julius studied under Eduardo Zamacois andJean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts, and later was a pupil of Raymondo de Madrazo.

Stewart’s family wealth enabled him to live a lush expatriate life and paint what he pleased, often large-scaled group portraits. He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon from 1878 into the early 20th century, and helped organize the “Americans in Paris” section of the 1894 Salon. The Baptism, which reportedly depicts a gathering of the Vanderbilt family, was shown at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, and received acclaim at the 1895 Berlin International Exposition (below).

Julius LeBlanc Stewart  (1855–1919)

The Baptism, c. 1892

Oil on canvas

201.3 × 297.5 cm (79.3 × 117.1 in)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

He painted a series of sailing pictures. The most accomplished of these, Venice, showed a sailing party on deck and included a portrait of the actress Lillie Langtry. Another, Yachting on the Mediterranean, set a record price for the artist, selling in 2005 for US$2.3 million.[2]

Late in life, he turned to religious subjects, but Stewart is best remembered for his Belle Époque society portraits and sensuous nudes. More on Julius LeBlanc Stewart

Natalia Baykalova, April 7, 1985 Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Hakama №1

Oil on canvas

36.2 H x 49.2 W x 1.2 in

Private collection

Hakama are a type of traditional Japanese clothing. Trousers were used by the Chinese imperial court in the Sui and Tang dynasties, and this style was adopted by the Japanese in the form of hakama beginning in the sixth century. Hakama are tied at the waist and fall approximately to the ankles. They are worn over a kimono (hakamashita). More on Hakama

Natalia Baykalova, April 7, 1985 Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Hakama №2

Oil on canvas

50 x 70 x 2 cm

Private collection

Natalia Baykalova was born on April, 7th, 1985 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Her mother Tatiana noticed her artistic talent and encouraged her to persue her ambition. At the age of 10 years Natalia started to attending classes in an art studio, then progressed to he most higher art school of Surikova. At the age of 15 Natalia joined the Art College of Surikova, well known for their classical traditions. 

Natalia begins her career working as a designer, illustrator, and then as an Art Director in City Format Magazine. At the magazine she has begun to work as a photographer. This new work helped Natalia to define further visions and directions for her paintings. During those same years she created her own style of painting. Painting has become her first priority. All her life experiences and education are mixed together to deliver a very talented and experienced paintings to the world. “In paintings I reflect my knowledge, emotions, myself and the world”. More on Natalia Baykalova

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12 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 24

Pedro Sáenz y Sáenz

Chrysanthemums/ Madame Butterfly, ca. 1900

Oil on canvas

81 x 55 cm

Propiedad de la Excma. Diputación Provincial de Málaga

Madame Butterfly: In 1904, a U.S. naval officer named Pinkerton rents a house on a hill in Nagasaki, Japan, for himself and his soon-to-be wife, “Butterfly”. Her real name is Ciocio-san. She is a 15-year-old Japanese girl whom he is marrying for convenience, since he intends to leave her once he finds a proper American wife, and since Japanese divorce laws are very lax. The wedding is to take place at the house. Butterfly had been so excited to marry an American that she had earlier secretly converted to Christianity. After the wedding ceremony, her uninvited uncle, a bonze, who has found out about her conversion, comes to the house, curses her and orders all the guests to leave, which they do while renouncing her. Pinkerton and Butterfly sing a love duet and prepare to spend their first night together.

Three years later, Butterfly is still waiting for Pinkerton to return. The American consul, Sharpless, comes to the house with a letter which he has received from Pinkerton which asks him to break some news to Butterfly: that Pinkerton is coming back to Japan, but Sharpless cannot bring himself to finish it because Butterfly becomes very excited to hear that Pinkerton is coming back. Sharpless asks Butterfly what she would do if Pinkerton were not to return. She then reveals that she gave birth to Pinkerton’s son after he had left and asks Sharpless to tell him.

The next morning Sharpless and Pinkerton arrive at the house, along with Pinkerton’s new American wife, Kate. They have come because Kate has agreed to raise the child. But, as Pinkerton sees how Butterfly has decorated the house for his return, he realizes he has made a huge mistake. He admits that he is a coward and cannot face her, leaving Suzuki, Sharpless and Kate to break the news to Butterfly. Agreeing to give up her child if Pinkerton comes himself to see her, she then prays to statues of her ancestral gods, says goodbye to her son, and blindfolds him. She places a small American flag in his hands and goes behind a screen, cutting her throat with her father’s hara-kiri knife. Pinkerton rushes in, but he is too late, and Butterfly dies. More on Madame Butterfly

Pedro Saenz Saenz ( Malaga , 14 as October as 1863 – Malaga , October as January as 1927 ) was a  Raphaelite painter, belonging to the Malaga school of painting . Disciple of Bernardo Ferrándiz , he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando . 

He completed his training in Rome in 1888, where he met other Spanish painters such as Simonet , Sorolla or Viniegra . At this stage he is also influenced by Art Nouveau and Catalan modernism .

His work can be considered academic , but has a predilection for the themes of romantic symbolism, as in The grave of the poet or Stella Matutina , both at the Museum of Málaga and both made him a medal in 1901. 

Among his works predominate portraits and female nudes, luminous and detailed, and some portraits, such as those of the Town Hall of Malaga . Some other of his paintings to review are: The amateur , Carlota or the Portrait of the Marchioness of Loring. More Pedro Saenz Saenz 

ANDY WARHOL, (1928-1987) 

Hélène Rochas, c. 1974

Acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas

101.6 x 101.6 cm. (40 x 40 in.) 

Private collection

Helene Rochas (1921 – 2011). Nelly Brignole studied dance and acting before meeting at 19, the fashion designer Marcel Rochas whom she soon married and became Hélène – much more elegant than Nelly. Beautiful and graceful, she perfectly embodied the Femme Rochas, she was her husband’s ideal muse and model and had to renounce to her acting career even though she was offered a role in Jacques Becker’s Golden Helmet. When her husband died in 1955, she proved she was not only a pretty face and took over his perfume brand and managed to make it become an international flourishing company. His death also helped ‘La Belle Hélène’ grow free of her Pygmalion’s influence and she could finally decide what to wear and developed her own artistic taste – more modernist and subtle. The friend and inspiration of many fashion designers such as Hubert de Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent, she imprinted contemporary art’s mythology with the portrait Andy Warhol depicted of her in 1975. More Helene Rochas

Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola; August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist, director and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture, and advertising that flourished by the 1960s. 

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Warhol initially pursued a successful career as a commercial illustrator. After exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950s, he began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist. 

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city of Pittsburgh, which holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. Many of his creations are very collectible and highly valuable. More on Andy Warhol

Anders Zorn, Swedish, 1860-1920

Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice, c. 1894

Oil on canvas

91 x 66 cm (35 13/16 x 26 in.)

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

While visiting the Gardners in Boston in February 1894, Anders Zorn made an etching of Mrs. Gardner, which neither of them considered to be a complete success. Later that year Zorn and his wife visited the Gardners in Venice, staying for several weeks as their guests in the Palazzo Barbaro. He attempted again to make a portrait of Mrs. Gardner, but continued to struggle with the task. One evening, Mrs. Gardner stepped out into the balcony to see what was happening outside, and as she came back into the drawing-room, pushing the French windows open, Zorn exclaimed (according to Morris Carter): “Stay just as you are! That is the way I want to paint you.” He went instantly for his materials, and then and there the portrait was begun. More on this painting

Isabella Stewart Gardner (April 14, 1840 – July 17, 1924) was a leading American art collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. She founded the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Isabella Stewart Gardner had a zest for life, an energetic intellectual curiosity and a love of travel[citation needed]. She was a friend of noted artists and writers of the day, including John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, Dennis Miller Bunker, Anders Zorn, Henry James, Okakura Kakuzo and Francis Marion Crawford.

Gardner created much fodder for the gossip columns of the day with her reputation for stylish tastes and unconventional behavior. The Boston society pages called her by many names, including “Belle,” “Donna Isabella,” “Isabella of Boston,” and “Mrs. Jack”. Her surprising appearance at a 1912 concert (at what was then a very formal Boston Symphony Orchestra) wearing a white headband emblazoned with “Oh, you Red Sox” was reported at the time to have “almost caused a panic”, and remains still in Boston one of the most talked about of her eccentricities. More on Isabella Stewart Gardner 

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

Kerri-Jane Evans, South Africa, born in 1967. 

Winter Portrait

Oil on board

60 x 60 cm

Everard-Read Gallery, Johannesburg

In this age of cybernetics, cynicism and simulacra, there exists the misconception that art should say big things about big issues. It is a discourse driven by ‘the idea’ and lubricated by the nutrients of parody, commentary and critique. The paintings of Kerri-Jane Evans move against this flow. And the term ‘flux’ is central to her vision because, like the constant shifts of light and colour that determine and regulate the cycles of day and night, colour and brushstroke in her paintings ebb and flow, and her forms seem to morph from solid and substantial to the ethereal. It is as though Evans is reluctant to impose too much authority or ownership on the paintings.

She never completes one painting before starting another. She works – or rather reworks – on all simultaneously. Each work in inherently, deliberately incomplete. In places her mark is stylized and linear, only to be subverted by her loose brushstrokes and unpredictable palette. For Evans the greatest challenge is to accept the paradox of incomplete endings. “The image never reaches completion; rather it stops at the point where it is taken away, almost like a small death.” More on Kerri Evans

Jeremy Mann, b. 1979

The Muse, c. 2012

Oil on panel

48 x 48 in.

Private collection


“A muse is anything but a paid model. The muse in her purest aspect is the feminine part of the male artist, with which he must have intercourse if he is to bring into being a new work. She is the anima to his animus, the yin to his yang, except that, in a reversal of gender roles, she penetrates or inspires him and he gestates and brings forth, from the womb of the mind. Painters don’t claim muses until painting begins to take itself as seriously as poetry. Andrea del Sarto, an Italian painter born in 1486, was famously married to his muse, Lucrezia, whose features so closely approached his ideal that he made all his female figures in her likeness, at a time when most other painters were building their beautiful female images on the well-loved bodies of boys. Since then, artists as different as Rubens, Bonnard, Renoir, Charles Blackman and Brett Whiteley have painted their wives over and over again, but their wives were their subjects rather than their muses.” More on a muse

Jeremy Mann (American, b.1979) is a painter best known for his moody, dark cityscapes. Mann graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Fine Art painting, and later attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Working on wood panels, Mann employs various techniques when creating his pieces, including staining the surface, wiping away paint with solvents, and applying broad marks with an ink brayer. Mann uses vivid, atmospheric colors, and is often inspired by the city of San Francisco, where he currently lives and works. In addition to his urban scenes, he also paints still lifes, and portraits of young women in his characteristically impressionistic manner. He has exhibited at venues around San Francisco and throughout the United States, at galleries such as John Pence Gallery, the Studio Gallery, Christopher Hill Gallery, and Principle Gallery, among others. More on Jeremy Mann


John Singer Sargent, American, 1856-1925

Portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner, c. 1888

Oil on canvas

190 x 80 cm

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Mrs. Gardner sat for Sargent during his visit to Boston in January 1888. He was paid $3000 for the portrait, which was exhibited to great acclaim at Boston’s St. Botolph Club. The work also inspired gossip and legend: someone jokingly titled it “Woman: An Enigma,” while others believed that the sensuous display of flesh deliberately echoed the scandal recently created by Sargent’s Madame X. Mrs. Gardner herself said that she rejected eight renderings of the face until she was satisfied. Jack Gardner seems to have asked his wife not to publicly show the portrait again while he was alive, and indeed the portrait was placed in the Gothic Room, which remained private until Mrs. Gardner’s death. More on this painting

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

He was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his “Portrait of Madame X”, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More on John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent,  American painter

Caterina Vlasto, (or Catherine), c. 1897

Oil on canvas

148.6 x 85.4 cm (58 1/2 x 33 5/8 in.)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Caterina (or Catherine) Vlasto, born. 30 July 1875 Londen, UK, the eighth of nine children  and died 3 June 1899 London, UK.  She was the second youngest of her siblings. 

When Sargent painted her she would have been 22. The piano is identified (by Ormond and Kilmurray) as the Bechstein which was in Sargent’s Tite Street studio. 

The ancestors of the Vlasto family have been traced back to the island of Chios (Greece) and Constantinople (Turkey) of the 15th century. They were a noble family but were scatted in the 16th century to escape persecution from the Turks. By the 1800’s they were all over Europe. Although Catherine was born in London, her father — Alexandre (Antoine) Vlasto — was born in Trieste, Italy (1833), and his father was born on the Greek island of Chios (1804). More Caterina Vlasto

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his “Portrait of Madame X”, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent

Georges Moreau de Tours, (1848 – 1901, French)

Blanche de Castille, 19e siècle

Nevers ; musée de la Faïence

Blanche of Castile (Spanish: Blanca; 4 March 1188 – 27 November 1252) was Queen of France by marriage to Louis VIII. She acted as regent twice during the reign of her son, Louis IX: during his minority from 1226 until 1234, and during his absence from 1248 until 1252. She was born in Palencia, Spain, 1188, the third daughter of Alfonso VIII, king of Castile, and Eleanor of England. Eleanor was a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Louis VIII and Blanche were crowned on August 6. Upon Louis’ death in November 1226 he left Blanche, by then 38, regent and guardian of his children. Of her children Louis was the heir — afterwards the sainted Louis IX — he was twelve years old. She had him crowned within a month of his father’s death in Reims and forced reluctant barons to swear allegiance to him. St. Louis owed his realm to his mother and remained under her influence for the duration of her life. 

In 1248, Blanche again became regent, during Louis IX’s absence on the Crusade, a project which she had strongly opposed. In the disasters which followed she maintained peace, while draining the land of men and money to aid her son in the East. She fell ill at Melun in November 1252, and was taken to Paris, but lived only a few days. More on Blanche of Castile

Georges Moreau de Tours (4 April 1848, Ivry-sur-Seine – 12 January 1901, Bois-le-Roi) was a French history painter and illustrator. In 1865 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied with Alexandre Cabanel. He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon from that time until 1896. In addition to his canvas paintings, he produced three scenes for the wedding chamber at the Town Hall in the Second Arrondissement. More on Georges Moreau de Tours


Circle of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (Bruges 1561-1635 London)

Portrait of a lady, traditionally identified as Elizabeth Throckmorton

Oil on panel, trimmed

108.7 x 78.4cm (42 13/16 x 30 7/8in)

Private collection

Elizabeth “Bess” Raleigh, (16 April 1565 – circa 1647), née Throckmorton, was Sir Walter Raleigh’s wife and a Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I of England. Their secret marriage precipitated a long period of royal disfavour for both her and her husband.

Queen Elizabeth first became aware in May 1592 of the secret marriage. She first placed Bess and Raleigh under house arrest, then sent them to the Tower of London, in June 1592. Raleigh was released from the Tower in August 1592 and Bess in December 1592. Elizabeth expected the couple to sue for pardon, but they refused to, and Raleigh remained out of favour for five years.

The couple remained devoted to each other. Due to Raleigh’s frequent absences, whether on expeditions, diplomatic duties, or in prison, Bess had to shoulder an unusual level of responsibility for a woman of her time.

The couple’s third son was born in January 1605, by which time Raleigh was a prisoner in the Tower of London. He was christened within the walls of the Tower in the church of St Peter ad Vincula. After Raleigh’s execution in 1618, Bess worked tirelessly to re-establish her late husband’s reputation and, in 1628, saw a Bill of Restitution restore the Raleigh name ‘in blood’, which allowed her one surviving son to inherit.

Bess is said to have had her husband’s head embalmed and to have carried it around with her for the rest of her life. An account from 1740 claims that, after Bess’ death, Raleigh’s head was returned to his tomb in St Margaret’s, Westminster. More on Elizabeth “Bess” Raleigh

Jeanne Fourquet Jeanne Laisné Jeanne Hachette Résistance Beauvais

Watercolor engraving engraved in 1841

26 x 17 cm

Original document of the XIXth century

Jeanne Laisné (born 1456) was a French heroine known as Jeanne Fourquet and nicknamed Jeanne Hachette (‘Joan the Hatchet’). She was the daughter of a peasant.

She is currently known for an act of heroism on 27 June 1472, when she prevented the capture of Beauvais by the troops of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. The town was defended by only 300 men-at-arms, commanded by Louis de Balagny.

Illustration H. Grobet

Jeanne Hachette, heroine of the Siege of Beauvais, 1472

History of France

The Burgundians were making an assault, and one of their number had actually planted a flag upon the battlements, when Jeanne, axe in hand, flung herself upon him, hurled him into the moat, tore down the flag, and revived the drooping courage of the garrison. In gratitude for this heroic deed, Louis XI instituted a procession in Beauvais called the “Procession of the Assault”, and married Jeanne to her chosen lover Colin Pilon, loading them with favours. A statue of her was unveiled on July 6th, 1851. More on Jeanne Laisné

Doreen Southwood, b. 1997

The Dancer, 1997

Bronze, steel, enamel paint and fabric

70 x 45 x 50 cm each

Private collection

Doreen Southwood (born 1974) is a South African artist, designer, and boutique owner based in Cape Town. She works in a wide variety of media in her artwork, producing sculptures, objects, prints, film, and more, which she often bases on personal experiences and self exploration. Her  Afrikaans upbringing inform much of her work.

In 2003, Southwood was named the overall winner of the Brett Kebble Art Awards for her painted bronze sculpture, “The Swimmer.”  (Below) The sculpture featured a young woman gazing blankly ahead as she stands on the end of a diving board. 

In 2001 she opened a shop in Cape Town called Mememe, which seeks to make the work of African fashion designers available to the public. Southwood’s own designs have been featured in fashion weeks in Johannesburg and Cape Town  and are known for embodying features of the feminine and nostalgic. More on Doreen Southwood

Doreen Southwood,  b. 1997

The Swimmer, 2003

Painted bronze

175 cm x 42.3cm x 232 cm

Private collection

Acknowledgement: Bonhams and others

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13 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 23

Gustav Klimt  (1862–1918)

Portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, c. 1914-1916

Oil on canvas

180 × 126 cm (70.9 × 49.6 in)

Private collection

Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt was the daughter of August and Serena Ledere (below), Klimt’s most important patrons. The family’s collection eventually grew to include some fifteen canvases by the artist, among them an 1899 portrait of Serena – described by those who knew her as the best-dressed woman in Vienna – and a 1915 painting of her mother, Charlotte Pulitzer, a relation of Joseph Pulitzer, founder of the famous prize for writing. More on Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt 

Gustav Klimt (Austrian, Baumgarten 1862–1918 Vienna)

Serena Pulitzer Lederer (1867–1943), Date:1899

Oil on canvas

75 1/8 x 33 5/8 in. (190.8 x 85.4 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Serena (Szeréna) Lederer, born Pulitzer (* 20 May 1867 in Budapest; † 27 March 1943 ) was the spouse of the Industry Magnate August Lederer, close friend of Gustav Klimt and instrumental in the constitution of the collection of Klimt’s art pieces.

Born into a wealthy family, (a relative of the U.S. journalist Joseph Pulitzer), Serena was known for being a beauty in her youth and later a Grande Dame. The family was resident at the castle Ledererschlössel in Weidlingau. In Vienna, one room of the flat was dedicated to Klimt works. The painting of Szeréna Lederer done in 1899 was the origin of a close friendship. On Klimt’s recommendation, in 1912, Egon Schiele was introduced to the Lederer family and became friends with Erich Lederer, the youngest son. Szeréna Lederer was instrumental in the collection of Klimt’s work. There are portraits of her mother, her daughter Elisabeth (above) and herself by the artist. It has been suggested Elisabeth was the biological daughter of Lederer and Klimt.

The Lederer collection was confiscated from Serena in 1940 and she fled to Budapest, where she died three years later. The Gestapo transferred the collection to Immendorf Castle, but the castle was set on fire in May, 1945 so that it would not fall into the hands of the Allies and the collection was destroyed. More on Serena (Szeréna) Lederer

Gustav Klimt, 1862 – 1918


Oil on board

20 1/2 by 20 1/2 in., 52 by 52 cm

Private collection

Dame im Fauteuil (Woman in Armchair) shows the artist’s affiliation with the Symbolist painters of the late nineteenth century. The female sitter, richly swathed in a matching red dress and hat, her narrow waist belted in a deep green, is seated in a patterned armchair against an abstracted background of brownish-red and taupe. The serenity and delicate pallor of her face is echoed in the ghostly quality of the two outlined heads in the upper left of the composition. More on Dame im Fauteuil 

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase,” many of which include gold leaf. More Gustav Klimt


Alfred Seifert (1850–1901)

Hypatia, c. 1901

Oil on panel

50.2 x 39.4 cm

Private collection

Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415 CE) was a scientist, inventor, and philosopher. She is also the first known female mathematician. Her death definitively ended the great era of ancient Greek mathematics and science. The Middle Ages came soon after.

Her father, Theon, was also a mathematician and philosopher, associated with the Musæum (a pagan temple-cum-philosophical school), and assisted her in getting started in her work. He personally taught her in the arts, literature, mathematics, science and philosophy.She was best known as a teacher, eventually becoming the head of the Alexandrian neo-Platonic school.

She was known for being very eloquent, very virtuous, and very beautiful, easily able to hold her own among men; the rationalist minister M. M. Mangasarian described her thus:

“”It appears that her beauty, which would have made even a Cleopatra jealous, was as great as her modesty, and both were matched by her eloquence, and all three surpassed by her learning.”

Chronicles relate that around the time of Hypatia’s death, the patriarch Cyril drummed up a large mob.  Hypatia was seen by the Christian population as being the cause of their continuing dispute and it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Cæsareum, where they completely stripped and murdered her with tiles. More on Hypatia

SIR JAMES GUTHRIE P.R.S.A., H.R.A., R.S.W., L.L.D. (SCOTTISH 1859-1930) 



52cm x 62cm (20.5in x 24.5in)

Private collection

John Singer Sargent, 1856 – 1925


Oil on canvas

58 by 37 7/8 inches, (147.3 by 96.2 cm)

Private collection

Mrs Charles Alexander, née Harriet Crocker (1859-1935) was the daughter of Charles Crocker of San Francisco, one of the Big Four who built the Central Pacific Railroad across the Sierra Nevada Mountains to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad, then under construction westwards from Omaha. She married Charles Beatty Alexander, a distinguished New York lawyer, in 1887. They lived in a mansion on the site of the present Bergdorf Goodman department store, and were collectors and patrons of art.

Their wealth and style made them prominent figures in society, but they seemed to represent an older, more gracious New York that was passing. On the day of Alexander’s funeral (9 February 1927), the art dealer René Gimpel wrote: ‘His wife leads all society here. With him, a moment in American life comes to an end. More on Mrs Charles Alexander

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his “Portrait of Madame X”, was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent


John William Godward, R.B.A., 1861-1922, BRITISH


Oil on canvas

31 1/2 by 23 5/8 in., 80 by 60 cm

Private collection

The excavation of Pompeii in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries captivated the popular imagination, and Godward has emblazoned his model against a red ground that may reference the walls of the House of Julia Felix, a wealthy heiress, property owner, business woman and public figure in Pompeii.  Her villa was first discovered in 1775,  a richly decorated shrine was uncovered in 1912,  which Godward may have visited. Like his contemporary, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Godward was an exacting researcher, sourcing every element of his paintings from the collection at the British Museum, or from photographs and objects that he collected. The table top, for example, is strewn with various objets de toilette from antiquity: including the Roman glass Pyxis, a cylindrical box used for storing cosmetics, the ivory and wood box, and a hand mirror with Etruscan motif handle. The model is dressed in a teal colored stola (the feminine form of the ancient Roman toga), drawn tightly at the waist with a palla (Roman shawl) of a deep wine color, and tied with an exquisitely-painted patterned yellow ribbon. Her hair is twisted into a long cascading braid, which she is arranging on top of her head using ivory hairpins. More on Julia

John William Godward (9 August 1861 – 13 December 1922) was an English painter from the end of the Neo-Classicist era. He was a protégé of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, but his style of painting fell out of favour with the arrival of painters such as Picasso. He committed suicide at the age of 61 and is said to have written in his suicide note that “the world is not big enough for myself and a Picasso”.

His already estranged family, who had disapproved of his becoming an artist, were ashamed of his suicide and burned his papers. No photographs of Godward are known to survive. More John William Godward

John Singer Sargent, (1856–1925)

Portrait of Grace Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston (1879-1958), c. 1925

Oil on canvas

127 × 92.7 cm (50 × 36.5 in)

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire

Grace Elvina Curzon, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston, GBE (1878 – 29 June 1958) was a United States-born British marchioness and the second wife of George Curzon, British parliamentarian, cabinet minister, and former Viceroy of India. She was born in Decatur, Alabama. Her first husband was Alfred Huberto Duggan of Buenos Aires, Argentina, with whom she had three children.

Grace Duggan was a wealthy woman after her husband’s death, inheriting large estancias in South America. In 1916, Philip Alexius de László painted her as a widow in nurse’s uniform. (below).

In 1917, aged 38, she became the second wife of Lord Curzon. In 1923, when Curzon was passed over for the office of Prime Minister partly on the advice of Arthur Balfour, Balfour joked that Curzon ‘has lost the hope of glory but he still possesses the means of Grace”.

Despite her fertility-related operations and several miscarriages, the couple did not produce a heir. This eroded their marriage, which ended in separation but not divorce. Letters from Curzon to Grace in the early 1920s indicate that they remained devoted to each other.

In 1925, soon before she was again widowed, her portrait was painted by the American artist John Singer Sargent (above). This oil on canvas painting was Sargent’s last oil portrait. The painting was purchased in 1936 by the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.

She was named Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 1922 for “services rendered during the War to the British Red Cross Society, and to the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association, the Belgian -Soldiers’ Club, and Queen Alexandra’s Nursing’ Association. More on Grace Elvina Curzon

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) see above


Philip de László,  (1869–1937)

Grace Elvina Hinds, Marchioness Curzon of Kedleston (1877-1958), c. 1916

Oil on canvas

79.4 × 63.5 cm (31.3 × 25 in)

 National Trust, Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Philip Alexius de László, MVO (30 April 1869 – 22 November 1937) was a Hungarian painter known for his portraits of royal and aristocratic personages. In 1900, he married Lucy Guinness of Stillorgan, County Dublin, and became a British citizen in 1914. László was born in humble circumstances in Budapest as Laub Fülöp. He was apprenticed at an early age to a photographer while studying art, eventually earning a place at the National Academy of Art, where he studied. He followed this with studies in Munich and Paris. László’s portrait of Pope Leo XIII earned him a Grand Gold Medal at the Paris International Exhibition in 1900. In 1903 László moved from Budapest to Vienna. In 1907 he moved to England and remained based in London for the remainder of his life

László’s patrons awarded him numerous honours and medals. In 1909 he was invested MVO by Edward VII. In 1912 he was ennobled by King Franz Joseph of Hungary; his surname then became “László de Lombos”, but he soon was using the name “de László”.

Despite his British citizenship, his marriage and five British sons, de László was interned for over twelve months in 1917 and 1918 during the First World War. He was exonerated and released in June 1919. Due to overwork de László suffered heart problems for the last years of his life. In October 1937 he had a heart attack and died a month later at his home in Hampstead, London. More on Philip Alexius de László

Evelyn Pickering de Morgan, 1855 – 1919, BRITISH

CLYTIE, c. 1886-7

Oil on canvas

41 3/4 by 17 1/2 in., 106 by 44.5 cm

Private collection

In this painting, de Morgan interprets the story of the water nymph Clytie, the daughter of the King of Babylon.  As told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Clytie falls in love with the sun god, Apollo, and when he abandons her for another, she strips herself and sits naked on the rocks in the sun, nourished only by her tears. Each day from dawn to dusk, she stares at the chariot of the sun, driven by her erstwhile lover, as he journeys through the sky.  On the ninth day, she is transformed into a sunflower (a popular emblem of the Aesthetic movement), which turns its head to look longingly at the sun.  More on Clytie

Evelyn De Morgan (30 August 1855 – 2 May 1919) was an English painter whose works were influenced by the style of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. She was a follower of Pre-Raphaelist Edward Burne-Jones. Her paintings exhibit spirituality; use of mythological, biblical, and literary themes; the role of women; light and darkness as metaphors; life and death; and allegories of war.

She was born Mary Evelyn Pickering to upper middle class parents. Evelyn was educated at home and started drawing lessons when she was 15. She went on to persuade her parents to let her go to art school. At first they discouraged it, but in 1873 she was enrolled at the Slade School of Art. She was granted a scholarship at Slade which entitled her to three years of financial assistance. However, since the scholarship required that she draw nudes using charcoal and she did not care for this technique, she eventually declined it.

She was also a pupil of her uncle John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, who was a great influence on her works. Beginning in 1875, Evelyn often visited him in Florence where he lived. This also enabled her to study the great artists of the Renaissance; she was particularly fond of the works of Botticelli. This influenced her to move away from the classical subjects favored by the Slade school and to make her own style. She first exhibited in 1877 at the Grosvenor Gallery in London and continued to show her paintings thereafter. More on Evelyn De Morgan

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, (German, Menzenschwand 1805–1873 Frankfurt)

FLORINDA, c. 1853

Oil on canvas

70 1/4 x 96 3/4 in. (178.4 x 245.7 cm)

Royal Collection

The legend of the eighth-century Visigothic king Rodrigo of Hispania tells how Rodrigo’s seduction of the beautiful maiden Florinda (‘La Cava’) initiated the Arab conquest of Spain. In this scene Florinda (centre left) and her companions, all draped to varying degrees in luxurious Indian silks, prepare to bathe in the grounds of the castle near Toledo where she lives, unaware that they are being watched by King Rodrigo who hides in the bushes nearby. Rodrigo falls violently in love and seduces Florinda, to the anger of her father, Count Julian, who secretly meets with the Moors and encourages them to invade Spain. In the subsequent war Rodrigo is killed in battle by the invaders, who subject the country to their rule for two hundred years. More on this painting

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (20 April 1805 – 8 July 1873). Born in a small village in Germany’s Black Forest, Franz Xaver Winterhalter left his home to study painting at the academy in Munich. Before becoming court painter to Louis-Philippe, the king of France, he joined a circle of French artists in Rome. In 1835, after he painted the German Grand Duke and Duchess of Baden, Winterhalter’s international career as a court portrait painter was launched. Although he never received high praise for his work in his native Germany, the royal families of England, France, and Belgium all commissioned him to paint portraits. His monumental canvases established a substantial popular reputation, and lithographic copies of the portraits helped to spread his fame. 

Winterhalter’s portraits were prized for their subtle intimacy, but his popularity among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as press releases, issued by a master of public relations. More on Franz Xaver Winterhalter 

William Edward Frost, SURREY 1810 – 1877 LONDRES, ÉCOLE ANGLAISE


Oil on canvas

70 x 86 cm ; 27 1/2 by 37 3/4 in.

Private collection

William Edward Frost (September 1810 – 4 June 1877) was an English painter of the Victorian era. Virtually alone among English artists in the middle Victorian period, he devoted his practice to the portrayal of the female nude.

Frost was educated in the schools of the Royal Academy, beginning in 1829; he established a reputation as a portrait painter before branching into historical and mythological subjects, including the subgenre of fairy painting that was characteristic of Victorian art. In 1839 he won the Royal Academy’s gold medal for his Prometheus Bound, and in 1843 he won a prize in the Westminster Hall competition for his Una Alarmed by Fauns (a subject from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene). He was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1846, and a full member in 1870.

Frost is widely recognized as a follower of William Etty, who preceded him as the primary British painter of nudes in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Despite the prudishness of the Victorian era, Frost’s relatively chaste nudes were popular, and his career was financially successful. More on William Edward Frost

School of Paul Emil Jacobs,  (1802–1866)

The Pasha’s Favourite (Ali Pasha and Kira Vassiliki), c. 1844

Oil on canvas

102.5 × 123 cm (40.4 × 48.4 in)

Private collection

Vassiliki Kontaxi, nicknamed Kyra Vassiliki, Lady Vassiliki, 1789 – 1834) was an influential Greek woman brought up in the seraglio of the Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha. Vassiliki was born in the Greek village of Plisivitsa in Thesprotia. At the age of twelve she sought an audience with the local Ottoman ruler, Ali Pasha, to intercede for her father’s life. Having granted her father pardon, Ali Pasha married Vassiliki in 1808 and she joined his harem. Being allowed to practice her Christian faith, she interceded on behalf of Greeks. During this period she undertook a number of charity initiatives. In 1819–20 she financed a number of restoration works in Mount Athos.

In January 1822, during the last stage of the siege of Ioannina by the Ottoman Sultan’s forces, Vassiliki together with Ali Pasha and his private guard escaped to Ioannina Island. Ali Pasha was executed there on January 22 by an Ottoman delegation, having being declared an outlaw by the Sultan. Following Ali’s death, Vassiliki was sent as a prisoner to the Ottoman capital, Constantinople. She was later pardoned and returned to Greece, which meanwhile gained its independence after the successful Greek War of Independence (1821–30). In 1830, the Greek state gave Vassiliki a medieval tower in Katochi, where she lived the rest of her life. She died in 1834. More on Kyra Vassiliki

Paul Emil Jacobs (August 20, 1802 in Gotha – January 6, 1866) was a German painter. Jacobs received his art training at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and first became known for his painting of Mercury and Argus (from Classical mythology). In 1824 he went to Rome, where he attracted critical attention by painting “The Raising of Lazarus”. In 1836 he made a series of historical paintings at the Welfenschloss in Hannover.

Jacobs was noted for his mastery of nudes, expressed particularly in the representation of such Orientalist themes as “A slave market” or of sleeping and waking boys. His image of Scheherezade from Arabian Nights is noted for its light effects. The famous Ali Pasha was depicted by Jacobs in a moment of relaxed intimacy with his favorite mistress (or wife) Kira Vassiliki (above).

Like many Europeans of his generation, Jacobs shared in the Philhellene sympathy for the Greek War of Independence, which took place when he was in the early stage of his artistic career. This was manifested in his painting very sympathetic pictures of “Greek Freedom Fighters”.

Jacobs was also a portrait painter. Lithographed portraits by him include those of Goethe, Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider and Döring.

In 1844, Jacobs created the monumental altarpiece “Calvary”, for St. Augustine’s Church in Gotha. It was removed from St. Augustine’s in 1939, and since 1998 the altarpiece has been located in the church of Hohenleuben. More on Paul Emil Jacobs

Acknowledgement: Sotheby’s and others

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.

10 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 21

Willem Wissing, 1656 – 1687


Oil on canvas

103 cm x 127 cm

Private collection

Alice Sherard was born in 1656 She was the daughter of Richard Sherard and Margaret Dewe.1,3 She married Sir John Brownlow in 1676, and they quickly inherited the Brownlow fortune and Belton estates. A full-length portrait of the sitter by John Riley and John Closterman is in the National Trust Collection at Belton House. More Alice Sherard

Willem Wissing, known in England as William Wissing (1656[1] – 10 September 1687), was a Dutch portrait artist who worked in England.

He was born in either Amsterdam, or The Hague, and studied at The Hague. In 1676, he moved to England. Wissing’s royal sitters include Charles II of England, Catherine of Braganza, George of Denmark and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.

In 1685, James II of England sent Wissing to the Netherlands to paint portraits of his Dutch son-in-law and daughter, the future William III of England and the future Mary II of England. Wissing died in 1687 at the peak of his fame as a portrait painter, at Burghley House, the home of John Cecil, 5th Earl of Exeter near Stamford in Lincolnshire. Some suspected he was poisoned out of jealousy of his success. According to Arnold Houbraken his epitaph was Immodicis brevis est aetas, meaning Brief is the life of the outstanding. He was buried in St Martin’s Church, Stamford, Lincolnshire. More Willem Wissing

Notice the similarity with the portrait below

Willem Wissing  (1656–1687)

Anne, later Queen of England, c. 1687

Oil on canvas

125 × 101 cm (49.2 × 39.8 in)

Bridgeman Art Library

At the time of the sitting she was styled Her Royal Highness Princess of Denmark and Norway by virtue of her marriage. She became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1702, styled Queen of Great Britain and Ireland from 1707. More this painting

Anne (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state known as Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.

Anne was born in the reign of her uncle Charles II, who had no legitimate children. Her father, James, was first in line to the throne. His suspected Roman Catholicism was unpopular in England, and on Charles’s instructions Anne was raised as an Anglican. Three years after he succeeded Charles, James was deposed in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688. Anne’s Dutch Protestant brother-in-law and cousin William III became joint monarch with his wife, Anne’s elder sister Mary II. Although the sisters had been close, disagreements over Anne’s finances, status and choice of acquaintances arose shortly after Mary’s accession and they became estranged. William and Mary had no children. After Mary’s death in 1694, William continued as sole monarch until he was succeeded by Anne upon his death in 1702.

As queen, Anne favoured moderate Tory politicians, who were more likely to share her Anglican religious views than their opponents, the Whigs. The Whigs grew more powerful during the course of the War of the Spanish Succession, until in 1710 Anne dismissed many of them from office. Her close friendship with Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, turned sour as the result of political differences.

Anne was plagued by ill health throughout her life. From her thirties onwards, she grew increasingly lame and obese. Despite seventeen pregnancies by her husband, Prince George of Denmark, she died without any surviving children and was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I. More Anne

Willem Wissing  (1656–1687), see above

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Flora, c. 1634

Oil on canvas

Height: 125 cm (49.2 in). Width: 101 cm (39.8 in).

Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Flora or Saskia as Flora is a 1634 painting by Rembrandt, showing his wife Saskia van Uylenburgh as the goddess Flora. It is now in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

She stands, in profile to the left. She turns her face, which has Saskia’s features, with a slight inclination towards the spectator. In her right hand she holds a staff entwined with flowers diagonally before her ; she lifts up her long mantle in front with her left hand. Her hair, adorned with a large garland of flowers, falls in long curls down her back. In her ear is a pearl. She wears a dress of gay pattern with loose sleeves, a scarf crossed on her bosom, and a light blue mantle falling from her shoulders. The light, which is evenly distributed, falls from the left. Thick bushes form a dark background. Life size, three-quarter length. Wrongly called until now “The Jewish Bride.” . Acquired by Catherine II., Empress of Russia, for the Hermitage in 1901. More on Saskia as Flora

In Roman mythology, Flora was a Sabine-derived goddess of flowers and of the season of spring – a symbol for nature and flowers (especially the may-flower). While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime, as did her role as goddess of youth. Her Greek counterpart was Chloris. More Flora

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Flora, circa 1654

Oil on canvas

Height: 100 cm (39.4 in). Width: 91.8 cm (36.1 in).

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Although pictures of Flora by Titian and other Italian artists ultimately inspired this work, Rembrandt rejects their idealizing approach by treating the goddess of Spring as an ordinary woman in fancy dress, with an expression betraying real experience. She seems to understand that flowers—emblematic of youth, beauty, and love—will fade away. The figure’s face and pose are based partly on a portrait of Rembrandt’s wife, Saskia, who died in 1642. While the paint surface is abraded, its quality is clear in the billowing folds of the blouse and the flower-filled apron. More Rembrandt Flora, circa 1654

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified most notably in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization. More on Rembrandt

Guillaume-Charles Brun, (French, 1825-1908)

The young rag seller, c. 1870

Oil on canvas

47-1/2 x 31-3/4 inches (120.7 x 80.6 cm)

Private Collection

During the 19th century, rags were viewed as a valuable commodity, widely collected for recycling into paper. It is estimated that there were 15,000 rag pickers in Paris alone, and at least 100,000 in France in the middle of the 19th century. Most were children and teens. A Victorian-era artist like Brun would have been aware that writers of his day often used the metaphor of recycling rags into clean paper as a way of discussing how society might transform the lives of its street children into those of social usefulness, education enabling them to take the imprint of new, more hopeful life stories. This analogy can be traced back to John Locke’s concept of the tabula rasa, whereby children at birth resemble ‘white paper.’ More on the rag seller

Guillaume-Charles Brun (* 5. May 1825 in Montpellier , Hérault , † 20th February 1908 in Paris) was a French painter. At 22 Brun went to Paris. In 1847 he joined the École des Beaux-Arts accepted (EBA) as a student.

At the large annual exhibition of the EBA in autumn 1847, a work of Bruns was already awarded a medal. In 1851 he was invited at the annual exhibition of the Salon de Paris. His two works were well received by the audience as well as by critics.

1883 Brun became President of the Société des artistes français. More Guillaume-Charles Brun

Iosif Iser, Romanian, 1881-1958 

Young Romanian Woman Spinning 

Oil on board 

24 x 19 5/8 inches (61 x 50 cm) 

Private Collection

Iosif Iser (21 May 1881 — 25 April 1958; born and died in Bucharest) was a Romanian painter and graphic artist. Iosf  was initially inspired by Expressionism, creating drawings with thick, unmodulated, lines and steep angles. After studies in Munich and Paris (with, among others, André Derain), Iser worked for the socialist press, publishing a large number of caricatures. He also started his first series of paintings with Dobrujan themes, usually featuring local Tatar portraits.

In 1955, he was elected a full member of the Romanian Academy. More Iosif Iser

Sir Francis Grant, P.R.A., EDINBURGH 1803 – 1878 MELTON MOWBRAY


Oil on canvas

231.5 x 139.8 cm.; 91 1/8  x 55 in.

Private Collection

Sir Francis Grant PRA (18 January 1803 – 5 October 1878). Scottish painter, active mainly in England. Grant was one of the most successful fashionable portraitists of his day and he also (particularly early in his career) produced sporting pictures (he came from an aristocratic family and was devoted to fox-hunting). He was perhaps at his best in portraits of young women, in which he continued the glamorous tradition of Lawrence but tempered the elegant dash with a touch of Victorian sobriety: an enchanting example is his portrait of his daughter ‘Daisy’ Grant (1857, NG, Edinburgh). More Sir Francis Grant

Albert Lynch, (Peruvian, 1851-1912)

A fashionable beauty

Oil on canvas

16-1/4 x 12 inches (41.3 x 30.5 cm)

Private Collection

Albert Lynch (1851–1912) was a Peruvian painter. He was born in 1851 in Trujillo, Peru. He settled in Paris, where he studied at l’École des Beaux-Arts. Lynch worked under the guidance of painters Jules Achille Noël, Gabriel Ferrier and Henri Lehmann. He showed his artwork in the Salon in 1890 and 1892 and in the Exposition Universelle of 1900 during which he received a gold medal.

The women of his time were his favorite subject to paint and he preferred pastel, gouache and watercolor although he occasionally worked in the oil technique. His work maintained the spirit of the Belle Époque. He illustrated such books as Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac and La Parisienne by Henry Becque.

There is a great deal of disagreement about the dates and places of his birth and death. It is possible, for example, to find sources that say he was born in Germany and that he lived well into the 1930s (or even longer). More Albert Lynch 


Carl Theodor von Piloty and Franz Adam

(Munich 1826–1886 Ambach on Lake Starnberg) and (Milan 1815–1886 Munich) 

Empress Elisabeth of Austria as bride on horseback in Possenhofen 1853

 [painted from nature by Carl Piloty, horse by Franz Adam 1853]

Oil on canvas

128 x 108 cm

Private Collection

The present painting shows the 15-year-old Elisabeth, Duchess in Bavaria and future Empress of Austria, in front of Possenhofen Castle with Lake Starnberg in the background. Here, she could spend untroubled childhood summers, far from the Munich court. The painting, dated 1853, was executed in the year of her engagement with the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. Empress Elisabeth gave the portrait to Francis Joseph of Austria for Christmas after the two were engaged to be married.  More on this Painting

Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria (24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898) was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and thus Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, and many others.

Born into the royal Bavarian house of Wittelsbach, Elisabeth enjoyed an informal upbringing before marrying Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of sixteen. The marriage thrust her into the much more formal Habsburg court life, for which she was ill-prepared and which she found uncongenial. Early in the marriage she was at odds with her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the rearing of Elisabeth’s daughters, one of whom, Sophie, died in infancy. The birth of a male heir, Rudolf, improved her standing at court considerably, but her health suffered under the strain, and she would often visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, and helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.

The death of her only son Rudolf, and his mistress Mary Vetsera, in a murder–suicide tragedy at his hunting lodge at Mayerling in 1889 was a blow from which Elisabeth never recovered. She withdrew from court duties and travelled widely, unaccompanied by her family. She was obsessively concerned with maintaining her youthful figure and beauty, which was already legendary during her life. While travelling in Geneva in 1898, she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. Elisabeth was the longest serving Empress of Austria, at 44 years. More Empress Elisabeth of Austria

Karl Theodor von Piloty (1 October 1826 – 21 July 1886) was a German painter, born in Munich. In 1840, Karl was admitted as a student of the Munich Academy. A year later acclaimed history paintings were shown in Munich, their realistic depiction of historic subject matter made a lasting impression on him. After a journey to Belgium, France and England, he commenced work as a painter of genre pictures.

But he soon forsook this branch of painting in favour of historical subjects, and produced in 1854 for King Maximilian II The Accession of Maximilian I to the Catholic League in 1609. It was succeeded by Seni at the Dead Body of Wallenstein (1855), which gained for the young painter the membership of the Munich Academy, where he succeeded Schorn (his brother-in-law) as professor in 1856. He was appointed keeper of the Munich Academy, and was a successful teacher. More Karl Theodor von Piloty

Franz Adam (May 4, 1815 – September 30, 1886) was a German painter, chiefly of military subjects. Adam was born in Milan, Italy, to painter Albrecht Adam, a German who had spent the prior several years in Italy. Franz Adam’s first notable work was a collection of lithographs on the Revolutions of 1848 in the Italian states, done jointly with noted lithographer Denis Auguste Marie Raffet. He painted his first masterpiece during the Second Italian War of Independence of 1859, a scene from the Battle of Solferino. His best-known works, meanwhile, depict the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. More Franz Adam

After Sir Anthony van Dyck


Oil on canvas

64.4 x 53.2 cm.; 25 3/8  x 21 in.

Private Collection

Anna Wake (1605-before 1669) was the wife of Peeter Stevens (c. 1590-1668), an Antwerp cloth merchant, and  art collector

Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More Sir Anthony van Dyck

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11 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 20

HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY, American (1873-1952)

Portrait of a Lady, c. 1902

Oil on canvas

73 1/2 x 36 inches

Private Collection

Howard Chandler Christy (January 10, 1872 – March 3, 1952) was an American artist and illustrator, famous for the “Christy Girl” — a colorful and illustrious successor to the “Gibson Girl” — who became the most popular portrait painter of the Jazz Age era. Christy painted such luminaries as Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, and Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Truman. Other famous people include William Randolph Hearst, the Prince of Wales (Edward the VIII), Eddie Rickenbacker, Benito Mussolini, Prince Umberto, Amelia Earhart. From the 1920s until the 1940s, Christy was well known for capturing the likenesses of congressmen, senators, industrialists, movies stars, and socialites. More Howard Chandler Christy 

Auguste Toulmouche, (French, 1829-1890)

Admiring her looks, c.  1881

Oil on canvas

25 3/4 x 18 1/4in (65.4 x 46.4cm)

Private Collection

Auguste Toulmouche (September 21, 1829 – October 16, 1890) was a French painter who painted in the academic realism style.  He studied design with a local sculptor and painting with a local portraitist.  In 1846, he moved to Paris.  There he entered the studio of Swiss artist Charles Gleyre and, by 1848, was ready to make his Salon debut.  He was only nineteen years old. He won a third class medal in 1852 and a second class medal in 1861.  In 1870, he was awarded the Legion of Honour.

Toulmouche is best known for his depictions of richly clad women set against the backdrop of luxurious interiors.  His paintings have been called “elegant trifles” and the ladies who feature in them have been referred to as “Toulmouche’s delicious dolls.”  One critic even compared the interiors of a Toulmouche painting to daintily decorated jewel boxes.  

In 1862, Toulmouche married a cousin of Claude Monet.  This alliance led to his being asked to mentor the young Monet.

Auguste Toulmouche died in Paris on October 16, 1890.  Those paintings of his that are not now in private collections can be found hanging in some of the finest museums in the world. More Auguste Toulmouche

JULIEN DUPRE (studio of) French (1851-1910)


Oil on canvas

18 x 21 1/2 inches

Private Collection

Julien Dupré (March 18, 1851 – April 16, 1910) was a French painter. He was born in Paris on March 18, 1851 to Jean Dupré (a jeweler) and Pauline Bouillié and began his adult life working in a lace shop in anticipation of entering his family’s jewelry business. The war of 1870 and the siege of Paris forced the closure of the shop and Julien began taking evening courses at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and it was through these classes that he gained admission to the École des Beaux-Arts.

In the mid-1870s he traveled to Picardy and became a student of the rural genre painter Désiré François Laugée (1823–1896), whose daughter Marie Eléonore Françoise he would marry in 1876; the year he exhibited his first painting at the Paris Salon.

Throughout his career Dupré championed the life of the peasant and continued painting scenes in the areas of Normandy and Brittany until his death on April 16, 1910. More


Gustav Klimt (1862–1918)

Portrait of Emilie Louise Flöge, c. 1902

Oil on canvas

181 × 84 cm (71.3 × 33.1 in)

Vienna Museum

Emilie Louise Flöge (30 August 1874 in Vienna – 26 May 1952 in Vienna) was an Austrian fashion designer, and businesswoman. She was the life companion of the painter Gustav Klimt.

Her first job was as a seamstress, but she later became a couturière. In 1895, Pauline, her elder sister, opened a dressmaking school and Emilie worked there. In 1899 the two sisters won a dressmaking competition.

After 1891, Klimt portrayed her in many of his works. Experts believe that his painting The Kiss (1907–08) shows the artist and Emilie Flöge as lovers (below). Klimt was painting many ladies from the upper echelons of Viennese society and thus, was able to introduce Emilie Flöge to a prosperous client base. More Emilie Louise Flöge

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918)

The Kiss, c. 1907–1908

Oil on canvas

180 × 180 cm (70.9 × 70.9 in)

Austrian Gallery Belvedere, Vienna, Austria.

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase,” many of which include gold leaf. More Gustav Klimt

MARTHA SUSAN BAKER, American (1871-1911)

Bessie McCoy, Insouciance (Carefree), c. 1906

Oil on canvas

44 x 30 inches

Private Collection

Martha Susan Baker, American, 1871 – 1911, both studied and taught at the Art Institute of Chicago and was world-renowned particularly for her miniature paintings on ivory (An example of which is in the Louvre, below).

MARTHA SUSAN BAKER, American (1871-1911)

Mademoiselle / Martinet, c. 1911


H. in m 0.122; L. in m 0.090

Musée du Louvre

Unfortunately, in 1911, Miss Baker contracted appendicitis and died at the young age of 39. At the time of Baker’s death and at the height of her career, the artist had been commissioned to paint a portrait of President Taft. Her murals can be found in the Fine Arts Building in Chicago. More Martha Susan Baker

Edouard Vuillard, 1868 – 1940

Lucy Hessel Reading, 1913

Oil on canvas

The Jewish Museum, New York

Madame Lucy Hessel, was the artist’s protectress over a period of some forty years.  In a deep blue velvet jacket, she is pictured studying books and papers.  To the upper-right, above the fireplace, is a mirror, reflecting an open window and the garden beyond.  The setting is likely the country house in Normandy where Vuillard was a frequent guest of the Hessels.  The closeness of their relationship is emphasized by the striking fact that the subject is caught within her private domain at an intimate and informal moment, suggestive at the same time of Vuillard’s admiration for earlier French (Fragonard) and Dutch (Vermeer) masters of the interior. More Madame Lucy Hessel

Jean-Édouard Vuillard (11 November 1868 – 21 June 1940) was a French painter and printmaker associated with the Nabis. The son of a retired captain, he spent his youth at Cuiseaux (Saône-et-Loire); in 1878 his family moved to Paris in modest circumstances. After his father’s death in 1884, Vuillard received a scholarship to continue his education. In the Lycée Condorcet Vuillard met Ker Xavier Roussel (also a future painter and Vuillard’s future brother in law), Maurice Denis, musician Pierre Hermant, writer Pierre Véber, and Lugné-Poe.

Vuillard was a member of the Symbolist group known as Les Nabis (from the Hebrew and Arabic term for “prophets” and, by extension, the artist as the “seer” who reveals the invisible). However, he was less drawn to the mystical aspects of the group and more drawn to fashionable private venues where philosophical discussions about poetry, music, theatre, and the occult occurred. Because of his preference for the painting of interior and domestic scenes, he is often referred to as an “intimist,” along with his friend Pierre Bonnard. He executed some of these “intimist” works in small scale, while others were conceived on a much larger scale made for the interiors of the people who commissioned the work. More Jean-Édouard Vuillard

ÈMILE EISMAN-SEMENOVSKY, 1857 Poland – Paris 1911 (attr.)

Oriental Beauty

Oil on panel

27 cm x 21 cm

Private Collection

Émile Eisman-Semenowsky (* 1859 in Poland , † 1911 in France ) was a French painter of Polish descent.

There are very few documented sources on Émile Eisman-Semenovsky’s biography. He was born in the part of Poland annexed by Russia. He emigrated early, studied painting outside Poland. At the beginning of the 1880s he came to Paris and became known here as a painter of sentimental women’s portraits. He worked as an assistant to Jan van Beers. Apart from the numerous women’s portraits, he created a few genre and nude pictures. His paintings were adapted to the taste of the French bourgeoisie. Many works were portrayed as women of the Middle East or the ancient world. In France he was attributed to Polish or Russian painters. More Émile Eisman-Semenowsky

MARCEL DYF, French (1899-1985)

Jeune Femme Rousse/ Young Red Head

Oil on canvas

21 1/2 x 18 1/4 inches

Private Collection

Marcel Dyf (1899–1985) was a French impressionist painter. He was born as Marcel Dreyfus on October 7, 1899 in Paris. He grew up in Normandy, in the towns of Ault, Deauville and Trouville. He started a career as an engineer, but soon decided to become a painter. In 1922, he moved to Arles, where he was trained as a painter and set up a studio.

He painted frescoes in the cityhalls of Saint-Martin-de-Crau and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. He also painted frescoes in the Museon Arlaten and in the dining hall of the Collège Ampère, both of which are in Arles. He also designed windows inside the Église Saint-Louis in Marseille.

In 1935, he moved to Maximilien Luce’s old studio on the Avenue du Maine in Paris. By 1940, because of the German invasion of France during the Second World War, he returned to Arles. He quickly joined the French Resistance in Corrèze and the Dordogne. He later moved back to Paris, and finally moved in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. However, in the 1950s, he started wintering in Paris and summering in Cannes, where he attracted the attention of American art collectors. More

Marc Chagall, (French, Vitebsk 1887–1985 Saint-Paul-de-Vence)

Marc ChagallBride with Fan, c. 1911

Oil on canvas

18 x 15 in. (45.7 x 38.1 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Marc Chagall conjured up his native Russia in the works he painted from 1910 to 1914 while he was living in the French capital. Similarly, in the small painting The Betrothed, he evoked his far-away fiancée Bella Rosenfeld, whom he would marry in 1915 upon his return to Vitebsk, Russia. The picture’s palette of only blue and white is unusual within the artist’s oeuvre, yet the brighter colors showing through the white paint suggest that Chagall reused an old canvas. Pierre Matisse, the son of artist Henri Matisse, had coveted the works of Chagall since 1924, when he first met the artist in Paris. Chagall was loath to part with his work, but in 1941 Pierre, who then owned an art gallery in New York, was able to mount an exhibition of Chagall’s work that became a “blockbuster”; this was followed by sixteen more exhibitions at the gallery through 1982. More Bride with Fan

Marc Zakharovich Chagall (1887 – 28 March 1985) was a Russian-French artist. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.

Chagall saw his work as “not the dream of one people but of all humanity. According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists”. Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the UN, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did large-scale paintings, including part of the ceiling of the Paris Opéra.

Before World War I, he traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin. During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his idea of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. He spent the wartime years in Soviet Belarus, becoming one of the country’s most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avant-garde, founding the Vitebsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1922.

He experienced modernism’s “golden age” in Paris, where “he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism, and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism”. “When Matisse dies,” Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is” More Marc Chagall


Wojciech Weiss, (Polish, 1875-1950)

Portrait of Maria Skrzywan in Spanish costume, c. 1946

Oil on canvas

31 3/4 x 25 3/4in (80.5 x 65.5cm)

Private Collection

Maria Skrzywan (born 1900 in Kordelówka, near Winnica , died 1978 ) was a Polish psychologist, the first dean of the Faculty of Pedagogy at the University of Warsaw , founded in 1953.

She graduated from a Polish grammar school in Kiev. Then undertook legal studies at the University of Warsaw, which she changed to psychology. Since 1928 she was an assistant professor. In 1931, she was awarded a doctoral degree by prof. Wladyslaw Witwicki. She lectured at the Warsaw University conducting classes in educational and development psychology.

During World War II she participated in secret teaching, was arrested and imprisoned. After the war she organized the first university psychological studies in Poland and created the first textbook for students. She was the editor of the editorial staff of “Educational Psychology”. After the death of prof. Baleya took the position of head of the Chair of Educational Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Warsaw . In 1955 she became a professor.

She was the promoter of her doctoral thesis, Anna Matczak , promoting the award of honorary doctorate of the University of Warsaw to the French psychologist Jean Piaget on 14 May 1958.

She died on April 23, 1978. More Maria Skrzywan

Wojciech Weiss (4 May 1875 – 7 December 1950) was a prominent Polish painter and draughtsman of the Young Poland movement. He was born in Bukovina to a Polish family in exile . He gave up music training to study art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków under Leon Wyczółkowski. Weiss originally painted historical or mythological paintings, but later switched to Expressionism after being profoundly influenced by Stanisław Przybyszewski. Weiss later became a member of the Vienna Secession. He was one of the first Polish Art Nouveau poster designers. Near the end of his life, he made several significant contributions to paintings of the Socialist realism in Poland. More Wojciech Weiss 

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10 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. # 17

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)

La bohémienne (Lise Tréhot), c. 1868

Oil on canvas

Height: 85 cm (33.5 in). Width: 59 cm (23.2 in).

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) in Berlin

Lise Tréhot was Renoir’s companion from about 1866 to 1871. He painted her at least 23 times, including Lise with a parasol (below) , painted in 1867, Renoir’s first significant critical success which was admired at the Paris Salon in 1868. This success may have inspired Renoir to paint her again, this time in a more informal style.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (1841–1919)

Lise with Umbrella, c. 1867

Oil on canvas

184 × 115 cm (72.4 × 45.3 in)

Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

The painting takes inspiration from the Romantic paintings of Eugène Delacroix, particularly his 1823 painting Orphan Girl at the Cemetery (below) in which the subject’s bodice also hangs off on one shoulder, and also the Realist works of Gustave Courbet (below). It is an example of a transition in Renoir’s style from more formal studio painting to a looser Impressionist style. It was exhibited at the Salon de Paris in 1869 under the title En été, étude, with the word “étude” (French for “study”) added to deflect criticism of the loose, impressionistic style of the background, which was not as highly finished as a completed salon painting (or tableau), such as his Lise with a parasol. More La bohémienne

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”

He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–69). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre. MorePierre-Auguste Renoir

Hugène Delacroix, (1798–1863)

Jeune orpheline au cimetière, c. 1824

Orphan Girl at the Cemetery

Height: 0.65 m (0.7 yd). Width: 0.55 m (0.6 yd).

Louvre Museum

Believed to be Delacroix’s preparatory work in oil for the his later Massacre at Chios, Orphan Girl at the Cemetery is nevertheless considered a masterpiece in its own right. An air of sorrow and fearfulness emanates from the picture, and tears well from the eyes of the grief-stricken girl as she looks apprehensively upward. The dimness of the sky and the abandoned laying-ground are consonant with her expression of melancholy. The girl’s body language and clothing evoke tragedy and vulnerability: the dress drooping down from her shoulder, a hand laid weakly on her thigh, the shadows above the nape of her neck, the darkness at her left side, and the cold and pale coloring of her attire. 

For Delacroix, colors were the most important ingredients for his paintings. Because of this artistic taste and belief, he did not have the patience to create facsimiles of classical statues. He revered Peter Paul Rubens and the Venetians. More Jeune orpheline au cimetière

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.

As a painter and muralist, Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the “forces of the sublime”, of nature in often violent action.

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, “Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible.” MoreFerdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix

Gustave Courbet, (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)

Jo, La Belle Irlandaise, c.1865–66

Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl

Oil on canvas

:22 x 26 in. (55.9 x 66 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The “beautiful Irishwoman” depicted in this painting is Joanna Hiffernan (born 1842/43), mistress and model of the artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), and perhaps subsequently Courbet’s lover. Although dated 1866, the picture was likely undertaken in 1865, when the two men painted together at the French seaside resort of Trouville; Courbet wrote of “the beauty of a superb redhead whose portrait I have begun.” He would paint three repetitions with minor variations. More Joanna Hiffernan

Joe was romantically linked to the American painter and etcher James (Abbot) McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) (below) and French painter Gustave Courbet (1819-77) for whom she modelled and became mistress and muse. She is described as a fiery redhead, physically striking with an even more impressive personality. Whistler biographers and friends, the Pennels, wrote that ‘She was not only beautiful, she was intelligent, she was sympathetic, she gave Whistler the constant companionship he could not do without’. More Jo

Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realism movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. His independence set an example that was important to later artists, such as the Impressionists and the Cubists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th-century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social statements through his work.

Courbet’s paintings of the late 1840s and early 1850s brought him his first recognition. They challenged convention by depicting unidealized peasants and workers, often on a grand scale traditionally reserved for paintings of religious or historical subjects. Courbet’s subsequent paintings were mostly of a less overtly political character: landscapes, seascapes, hunting scenes, nudes and still lifes. He was imprisoned for six months in 1871 for his involvement with the Paris Commune, and lived in exile in Switzerland from 1873 until his death. More Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet

James Abbott McNeill Whistler, (1834–1903)

Symphony in White no 1: The White Girl

Portrait of Joanna Hiffernan, c. 1862

Oil on canvas

214.6 × 108 cm (84.5 × 42.5 in)

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Whistler first met Hiffernan in 1860 while she was at a studio in Rathbone Place, according to Ionides, and she went on to have a six year liaison with him. She modelled for some of Whistler’s most famous paintings during this period. She was in France with Whistler during the summer of 1861, and in Paris during the winter of 1861-62 sitting for Symphony in White, No. I: The White Girl (YMSM 38) at a studio in Boulevard des Batignolles. It is possible that this is where she met Courbet for whom she later modelled. More Joanna Hiffernan and James Abbott McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (July 10, 1834 – July 17, 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative. Finding a parallel between painting and music, Whistler entitled many of his paintings “arrangements”, “harmonies”, and “nocturnes”, emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. His most famous painting is “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” (1871), commonly known as Whistler’s Mother, the revered and oft-parodied portrait of motherhood. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers. More James Abbott McNeill Whistler 

Jean-Marc Nattier (1685–1766)

Portrait of Éléonore Louise Le Gendre de Berville, (1740-1761) marquise du Hallay-Coëtquen, c. 1751

Oil on canvas

70,5 × 58 cm

Private collection

Eléonore Louise Le Gendre de Berville was the daughter of Pierre-Hyacinthe Le Gendre, chevalier, marquis de Berville and Marie-Adélaïde Le Gendre de Maigremont, her first cousin. She was born in Paris on 3 February 1740 and married in 1761 with Emmanuel Agathe, Marquis du Hallay, Earl of Montmoron. She died on 11 December 1761 in Paris at the birth of her son Emmanuel. More Eléonore Louise Le Gendre de Berville

Jean-Marc Nattier (17 March 1685 – 7 November 1766), French painter, was born in Paris. He is noted for his portraits of the ladies of King Louis XV’s court in classical mythological attire.

He enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1703 and made a series of drawing of the Marie de Médicis painting cycle by Peter Paul Rubens in the Luxembourg Palace; the publication of engravings based on these drawings made Nattier famous. He had applied himself to copying pictures at the Luxembourg Gallery, he refused to proceed to the French Academy in Rome, though he had taken the first prize at the Paris Academy at the age of fifteen. In 1715 he went to Amsterdam, where Peter the Great was then staying, and painted portraits of the tsar and the empress Catherine, but declined an offer to go to Russia.

Nattier aspired to be a history painter. Between 1715 and 1720 he devoted himself to compositions like the “Battle of Pultawa”, which he painted for Peter the Great, and the “Petrification of Phineus and of his Companions”, which led to his election to the Academy. More Jean-Marc Nattier 

Jean-Marc Nattier, (1685–1766)

Madame de Pompadour (1722–1764), c. 1746

mistress of Louis XV, represented as Diana the Huntress

Oil on canvas

102 × 82 cm (40.2 × 32.3 in)

Palace of Versailles

Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, also known as Madame de Pompadour (French: [pɔ̃.pa.duːʁ]; 29 December 1721 – 15 April 1764), was a member of the French court and was the official chief mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1751, when she then became and remained a close friend and confidante to the king until her death. She took charge of the king’s schedule and was a valued aide and advisor, despite her frail health and many political enemies. She secured titles of nobility for herself and her relatives, and built a network of clients and supporters. She was particularly careful not to alienate the Queen, Marie Leszczyńska. On February 8, 1756, the Marquise de Pompadour was named as the thirteenth lady in waiting to the queen, a position considered the most prestigious at the court, which accorded her with honors. She was a major patron of architecture and decorative arts, such as porcelain. She was a patron of the philosophes of the Enlightenment, including Voltaire. Hostile critics at the time generally tarred her as a malevolent political influence, but historians are more favorable, emphasizing her successes as a patron of the arts and a champion of French pride. More Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour,

Jules Bastien-Lepage, (1848–1884)

Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), c. 1879

Oil on canvas

 82.042 x 109.728 cm

Beaux-Arts museum, Nancy

Sarah Bernhardt (French: 22 October 1844 – 26 March 1923) was a French stage and early film actress. She was referred to as “the most famous actress the world has ever known”, and is regarded as one of the finest actors of all time. Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, at the beginning of the Belle Epoque period, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas. She developed a reputation as a sublime dramatic actress and tragedienne, earning the nickname “The Divine Sarah”. In her later career she starred in some of the earliest films ever produced. More Sarah Bernhardt 

Jules Bastien-Lepage (1 November 1848 – 10 December 1884) was a French painter closely associated with the beginning of naturalism, an artistic style that emerged from the later phase of the Realist movement. He was born in the village of Damvillers, Meuse, and spent his childhood there. Bastien took an early liking to drawing, and his parents fostered his creativity by buying prints of paintings for him to copy.

Jules’s first formal training was at Verdun, and prompted by a love of art he went to Paris in 1867, where he was admitted to the École des Beaux-arts, working under Cabanel. He was awarded first place for drawing but spent most of his time working alone, only occasionally appearing in class. During the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Bastien fought and was wounded. After the war, he returned home to paint the villagers and recover from his wound. In 1873 he painted his grandfather in the garden, a work that would bring the artist his first success at the Paris Salon.

His initial success was confirmed in 1875 by the First Communion, a picture of a little girl minutely worked up. The last picture, Haymaking (Les Foins), now in the Musée d’Orsay, was widely praised by critics and the public alike. It secured his status as one of the first painters in the Naturalist school.

Between 1880 and 1883 he traveled in Italy. The artist, long ailing, had tried in vain to re-establish his health in Algiers. He died in Paris in 1884, when planning a new series of rural subjects. More Jules Bastien-Lepage

Nicolas de Largillière

Émilie du Châtelet, 18th century

Oil on canvas

One of the rare paintings of Emilie where she is not looking directly out at the artist, she looks skyward with her familiar compass in one hand and the other on top of  the world; denoting her intellectual focus

Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet, (born Dec. 17, 1706, Paris, France—died Sept. 10, 1749, Lunéville), French mathematician and physicist who was the mistress of Voltaire.

She was married at 19 to the Marquis Florent du Châtelet, governor of Semur-en-Auxois, with whom she had three children. The marquis then took up a military career and thereafter saw his wife only infrequently. Mme du Châtelet returned to Paris and its dazzling social life in 1730 and had several lovers before entering into an affair and intellectual alliance with Voltaire in 1733. She was able to extricate the intemperate Voltaire from many personal and political difficulties. To avoid an arrest warrant, Voltaire left Paris in June of that year, taking refuge in Mme du Châtelet’s château at Cirey in Champagne. In this haven they pursued their writing and philosophical and scientific discussions. In 1738 Mme du Châtelet and Voltaire competed independently for a prize offered by the Academy of Sciences for an essay on the nature of fire. Although the prize was won by the German mathematician Leonhard Euler, Mme du Châtelet’s Dissertation sur la nature et la propagation du feu was published in 1744 at the Academy’s expense. She wrote several other scientific treatises and many posthumously published works on philosophy and religion.

Voltaire and Mme du Châtelet continued to live together even after she began an affair with the poet Jean-François de Saint-Lambert; and when she died in childbirth at the court of Stanislas Leszczyński, Duke of Lorraine, these men and her husband were with her. From 1745 until her death she had worked unceasingly on the translation of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica. It was published in part, with a preface by Voltaire and under the direction of the French mathematician Alexis-Claude Clairaut, in 1756. The entire work appeared in 1759 and was for many years the only French translation of the Principia.

The many hundreds of letters that passed between Mme du Châtelet and Voltaire are assumed to have been destroyed, but some were included in Voltaire’s Correspondance, 24 vol. (1953–57). More Émilie du Châtelet

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10 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #14

Italian School, 15th Century

A Crucifix

Tempera on gold ground panel

93.1/8 x 71½ in. (236.5 x 181.7 cm.)

Private collection

French School, 1501 

Christ on the cross between two angels bearing the arms of the kingdom of France 

Oil on board

h: 233 w: 132 cm 

Private collection

The Latin quotation inscribed at the bottom of this Crucifixion is taken from the Book of Jeremiah (22: 3): “Practice righteousness and equity, deliver the oppressed from the hands of the Lord, ‘Do not abuse the stranger, the orphan, and the widow: do not use violence, nor shed innocent blood in this place.’ The judicial character of this inscription testifies to the vocation of this work to adorn a courtroom. The presence of a Crucifixion in a court is not surprising for the medieval period. More Latin quotation

Italian School, 15th Century


Tempera and gold on panel

24 1/4 by 16 1/2 in.; 62.1 by 42.6 cm

Private collection

Russian icon of Pokrov, nineteenth century

Tempera on wood

H .: 54 cm ?? L. 44 cm.

Private collection

The Intercession of the Theotokos or the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, known in Church Slavonic as Pokrov, is a feast of the Mother of God celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. The feast celebrates the protection afforded the faithful through the intercessions of the Theotokos (lit. Mother of God, the Eastern version of the Virgin Mary). In the Slavic Orthodox Churches it is celebrated as the most important solemnity besides the Twelve Great Feasts. 

According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople where several of her relics (her robe, veil, and part of her belt) were kept. On Sunday, October 1 at four in the morning, St. Andrew the Blessed Fool-for-Christ, who was a Slav by birth, saw the dome of the church open and the Virgin Mary enter, moving in the air above him, glowing and surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world. The Virgin Mary asked Her Son, Jesus Christ, to accept the prayers of all the people entreating Him and looking for Her protection. Once Her prayer was completed, She walked to the altar and continued to pray. Afterwards, She spread Her veil over all the people in the church as a protection. More Pokrov


Surrounded by 12 scenes. Russian work, nineteenth century.

Tempera on wood

H: 71 cm L: 61 cm.

Private collection

The resurrection of Jesus is the Christian religious belief that, after being put to death, Jesus rose again from the dead. It is the central tenet of Christian theology and part of the Nicene Creed: “On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures”

Just before sunrise on the day after the regular weekly Sabbath three women, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, come to anoint Jesus’ body, wondering how they would be able to roll the large rock away from the tomb; but they found the rock already rolled aside and a young man in white inside; he told them that Jesus had risen, and that they should tell Peter and the disciples that he will meet them in Galilee, “just as he told you”. More The resurrection of Jesus 

Nicolas Tarabroff, active from 1893 to 1917


Tempera on wood, decorated with a gilt rimmed riza, and a nimbus in polychrome enamels cloisonné. 

L: 26.5 cm. Kiotre: H .68 cm

Private collection

In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator, or Pantokrator, is used in this context, a translation of one of many names of God in Judaism.

When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used both for YHWH Sabaoth “Lord of Hosts” and for El Shaddai “God Almighty”. In the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul. Aside from that one occurrence, John of Patmos is the only New Testament author to use the word Pantokrator. The author of the Book of Revelation uses the word nine times, and while the references to God and Christ in Revelation are at times interchangeable, Pantokrator appears to be reserved for God. More Christ Pantocrator

SAINT PETER AND SAINT PAUL, Russian, eighteenth century.

Tempera on wood

H. 90 cm  L: 51 cm.

Private collection

Saint Peter (AD 30; d. between AD 64 and 68), also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simōn, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. He is also the “Apostle of the Apostles”, an honor 3rd-century theologian Hippolytus of Rome gave him, and the Roman Catholic Church considers him to be the first pope, ordained by Jesus in the “Rock of My Church” dialogue in Matthew 16:18. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and associate him with founding the Church of Antioch and later the Church in Rome, but differ about the authority of his various successors in present-day Christianity.

Originally a fisherman, he played a leadership role and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus’s inner circle, thrice denied Jesus and wept bitterly once he realised his deed, and preached on the day of Pentecost.

According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus. Tradition holds that he was crucified at the site of the Clementine Chapel. More Saint Peter

Paul the Apostle (c. 5 – c. 67), commonly known as Saint Paul, and also known by his native name Saul of Tarsus was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of the Christ to the first century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. More Saint Paul

 VIRGIN,  Greek, c. 1863

Tempera on wood

H .: 21 cm  L. 15 cm

Private collection

THE PASSION OF CHRIST, Russian, c. century.

Tempera on wood.

H .: 62.5 cm  L: 53.5 cm

Private collection

In Christianity, the Passion (from Late Latin: passionem “suffering, enduring”) is the short final period in the life of Jesus covering his entrance visit to Jerusalem and leading to his crucifixion on Mount Calvary, defining the climactic event central to Christian doctrine of Salvation History.

The word passion has since taken on a more general application and now may also apply to accounts of the suffering and death of Christian martyrs, sometimes using the Latin form passio.  More

VIRGIN AND CHILD, Russian work of the twentieth century.

Tempera on wood, with riza, in gilded metal

H .: 13 cm  L.: 11 cm

Private collection



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