Late 18th Century
Portrait of a Lady
Pastel on paper, mounted on canvas
Image size: 28 x 23 inches
Contemporary style frame
Ernst Museum Auction
This pastel portrait of a lady dates from the late eighteenth century. She is pictured in a white muslin dress in the style made fashionable by Marie Antoinette, after she was painted wearing one in 1783. This could have been quite a daring choice for our subject as at the time Marie Antoinette was much criticised for allowing herself to be seen in attire that was deemed to be too similar to undergarments - indeed the style was called 'la chemise de la reine'.
It is certainly very different from the ornate rococo styles that had previously dominated. The mop cap worn by our subject suggests that she was a married woman, and obviously of some wealth judging by the intricate lace work and silk ribbons adorning her otherwise relatively simple dress.
There is an intriguing label attached to the back of this portrait - 'Ernst Museum Auction'. This suggests that it was once the property of Lajos Ernst, who was a noted Hungarian art critic and collector. During his life Ernst collected 6,500 articles from Hungarian history and art and founded a museum in 1912 to house his collection (the Ernst Museum in Budapest, which still exists today). An auction was held there twice a year between 1917 and 1937.
1853 - 1908
Portrait of a Young Girl
Oil on canvas
Image size: 19 x 13 inches
Simon Buchbinder (1899-1969) was a Polish painter. Most of his works were genre and historical scenes and portraits done in small formats.
He received his first lessons from his brother, Józef, an established artist who was his senior by fourteen years.
From 1869 to 1871, he attended the "Warsaw School of Drawing". After graduating, he was able to find a position as a designer at the Vienna State Opera.
Two years later, he enrolled at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. He was there until 1878.
The following year, he moved to Kraków where he obtained a position in the studios of Jan Matejko at the Academy of Fine Arts. Later, Matejko would refer to him as a "painter of great hope".
In 1883, a scholarship enabled him to study in Munich, where he remained for many years.
In 1897, he moved to Berlin and concentrated on doing portraits. He apparently died there around 1908, although he may have lived until as late as 1924.
He seldom exhibited; notably with the Kraków Society of Friends of Fine Arts during his stay there and at an exhibition of German painters at the Grafton Galleries in 1906.
1883 – 1956
Portrait of a Girl
Pastel, signed lower left
Image size: 18 x 15 inches
Laurencin was born in Paris, the illegitimate daughter of Pauline Laurencin and Alfred Toulet. She did not know her father’s identity until she was 22, eight years after his death.
Laurencin studied porcelain painting at the Sèvres factory. She later entered the Académie Humbert, where she met Georges Braque and Georges Lepape.
In 1907 she exhibited at Clovis Sagot’s gallery in Montmartre. There, Pablo Picasso introduced her to Guillaume Apollinaire, with whom she would be romantically involved until 1913. Picasso and Apollinaire introduced Laurencin to the Bateau Lavoir, where she met Fernande Olivier, Max Jacob, André Salmon, Maurice Raynal, Maurice Cremnitz, Gertrude Stein, and André Derain, among others.
In 1908 Group of Artists is purchased by Gertrude Stein, Laurencin’s first sale. The painting is a group portrait of Laurencin, Apollinaire, Picasso and his mistress, Fernande Olivier. In 1913 Laurencin’s relationship with Apollinaire ended, signalling the end of her Cubist-inspired period.
During the First World War, Laurencin left France for exile in Spain with her German-born husband, Baron Otto von Waëtjen, since through her marriage she had automatically lost her French citizenship. The couple subsequently lived together briefly in Düsseldorf. After they divorced in 1920, she returned to Paris, where she achieved financial success as an artist until the economic depression of the 1930s. During the 1930s she worked as an art instructor at a private school. She lived in Paris until her death.
Julio Moises Fernandez de Villasante
1888 - 1968
Portrait of a Young Woman
Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower left
Image size: 34 x 29 inches
Gilt wooden frame
Julio Moises Fernandez de Villasante was born in 1988 in Tortosa, Spain. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Cadiz, where he received several prizes and a commission to decorate the magnificent Grand Theatre of the city. He moved to Barcelona in 1912, whereupon he began exhibiting regularly including San Francisco (1915) and Panama (1916). He continued to exhibit all over the world for the rest of his life.
Moises founded a free Academy of Art in Madrid in 1923, which was attended by Salvador Dali. Around the same time he was commissioned to paint the portaits of a number of the Spanish royal family, most notably King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia.
Moises was apponted director of the School of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1946. He died in Suances in 1968.
After Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Portrait of Nicolaes van Bambeeck
Oil on canvas
Image size: 19 x 14 ½ inches
A period copy of this stunning portrait by Rembrandt.
Rembrandt was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.
Unlike most Dutch masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt's works depict a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.
His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch art (especially Dutch 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.
Like many artists of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Jan Vermeer of Delft, Rembrandt was also known as an avid art collector and dealer.
Venus and Cupid
Oil on panel
Circle of Jean-Baptiste Greuze
1725 - 1805
Portrait of a Young Boy with Birdcage
Oil on canvas
Image size: 15½ x 12 inches
Jean Baptiste Greuze was born at Tournus on Aug. 21, 1725. His early life is undocumented, but he studied painting in Lyons and appeared in Paris around 1750. He entered the Royal Academy as a student and worked with Charles Joseph Natoire, a prominent decorative painter. During the 1760's Greuze achieved a significant reputation with his sentimental paintings of peasants or lower-class people seen in humble surroundings and in the midst of theatrically emotional family situations; examples are The Village Bride (1761), The Father's Curse (1765), and The Prodigal Son (1765).
In 1769 Greuze was admitted to the academy as a genre painter. Ambitious to become a member of the academy as a history painter, which was a higher rank, he was so angered by his admission as only a genre painter that he refused to show his paintings at the academy's exhibitions (the Salons). However, by that time he was already famous and could afford to ignore the Salons.
The rising importance of the middle class, and of middle-class morality, also played a part in the success of Greuze's cottage genre. His work seemed to preach the homely virtues of the simple life, a "return to nature," and the honesty of unaffected emotion. The blatant melodrama of his preaching was not found offensive, and visitors to the Salons wept in front of his paintings. The intellectuals of the day were generally opposed to the rococo as a decadent style; rather paradoxically, Greuze's most influential champion was Denis Diderot, one of the leading philosophers of the Enlightenment, who hailed Greuze as "the painter of virtue, the rescuer of corrupted morality." The fashion for simplicity and the "natural man" penetrated the highest circles, and engravings of Greuze's work were popular with all classes of society.
In terms of style, Greuze has been linked to neoclassicism. The complexity of his compositions, however, and his interest in surface textures place him within the general stylistic pattern of his period. In his sensual paintings of girls (such as The Morning Prayer and The Milkmaid), with their veiled eroticism, pale colors, and soft tonality, his connection with the rococo is most evident. Some of Greuze's best work is to be seen in his portraits (for example, Étienne Jeaurat), which are often sensitive and direct.Greuze survived the French Revolution but his fame did not. He died in Paris on March 21, 1805, in poverty and obscurity.
Emma Fordyce MacRae N.A.
White & Yellow Daisies in Loetz Vase
Oil on board, signed, inscribed verso, with estate stamp.
Image size: 41.5 x 34cm
Original gilt frame
By descent from the estate of the artist
Painted circa 1950
Léon Augustin Lhermitte
French 1844 - 1925
Pastel on Paper
Image size: 9 ½ x 12 ½ inches
Original swept frame
His many awards include the French Legion of Honour in 1844 and the Grand Prize at the World Exhibition in 1889. Lhermitte’s innovative use of pastels won him the admiration of his contemporaries. Van Gogh wrote that "If every month Le Monde Illustre published one of his compositions ... it would be a great pleasure for me to be able to follow it. It is certain that for years I have not seen anything as beautiful as this scene by Lhermitte ... I am too preoccupied by Lhermitte this evening to be able to talk of other things.'
1817 - 1882
Oil on canvas, signed bottom right and verso
Image size: 9½ x 12 inches
Portrait of a Lady
Coloured chalks on paper
Image size: 10 x 7 inches
Contemporary gilt frame