Saturday, August 12, 2017

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
 Ladies
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

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

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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Saturday, July 22, 2017

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





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