Favorite decades: 1910's, 1800's, 1870's
Favorite artists: Anthony van Dyck, Giovanni Boldini, Henry Fuseli, Thomas Lawrence
Find me at:
Click "browse" to find whatever it is you're looking for.
A Lady in a Garden taking Coffee with some Children by Nicolas Lancret, 1742 (probably), The National Gallery (London)
This painting, one of Lancret’s most ambitious of the works and often considered his masterpiece, was exhibited at the Salon of 1742. The subject is a pastoral idyll in contemporary dress. It may have been intended as a portrait of a particular family taking its ease in the kind of idealised park setting popularised by prints after the paintings of Watteau.
Informality is the keynote of both the landscape and the figures, who occupy the left part of the composition. A woman, presumably the mother, offers a spoonful of coffee to the younger child, observed by a man (presumably the father) who holds out a tray to a servant holding a silver coffee pot. The traditional title of the painting, ‘The Cup of Chocolate’ is, therefore, a misnomer. Behind the mother is the focal point of the setting, a stone vase filled with roses on an elaborate pedestal, which forms the left pier of the fountain basin to the right. The informality of the scene is underlined by the doll lying on the ground beside the fountain and the dog on the right rooting among the hollyhocks.
Louis Joseph Xavier François of France and Marie Thérèse Charlotte of France by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1784 France, Musée National des Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
Click for a bigger image - Not found at the source because of Joconde’s notoriously awful image quality.
Madame Élisabeth de France (1764–1794) by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, ca 1787 France, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Princess Élisabeth of France by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, ca 1782 France, Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon
Wrapper, ca 1855
The lot also includes a day dress (ca 1850), a spencer (ca 1820) and a bodice (ca 1800).
Click to go to the absentee bidding page. This Kerry Taylor auction will end October 16th at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EST). You will need to register to bid ahead of time.
Portrait of Mrs Samuel McCall, Sr by Robert Feke, 1746 US (Philadelphia), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
While the dress may have existed, it might have been painted from memory or copied from an image, such as an engraving. (The dress was probably artistic, not worn in everyday life. The museum confirms this in the description below.) It was common practice in the 18th century, especially in colonial and early America, for artists to paint ready-made “bases”, so to speak, on which to later fill in a clients’ head or just their face. This patron must have paid more for her portrait than the patron of the previous image, since this one is more detailed and has more naturalistic shading. The source I’ve linked to at the American Folk Art Museum briefly talks about how one artist could have many different styles.
One of several portraits of Philadelphia’s McCall family, this painting features a young woman standing erect in front of an Ionic column and beside a swath of crimson drapery and a Rococo marble-topped table on which she rests her hand. Imposing, elegant, and spare, it shows how Robert Feke provided dignified portraits for his clientele, whether in Philadelphia, Boston, Virginia, or Barbados.
The first major native-born artist of the British North American colonies, Feke is known for his relatively large, impressive portraits. He borrowed from the tradition of Baroque portraiture, including swags of brightly colored drapery, columns, elegant dresses, and props. His grand portraits of colonists dressed and posed in the guise of English nobility evoke a quality of dignity and grace, and as exemplified in this excellent example, showcase a combination of grandeur and simplicity.
At the time Feke painted Anne McCall, she had been married for nine years to her cousin, Samuel, a prominent Philadelphia merchant. Here, she is dressed in a radiant, crystal-buttoned, blue silk dress, with a salmon pink underskirt, accentuated at the narrow waist by a tassel belt. She gracefully holds a peony in her long, tapering fingers.
Portrait of Elisabeth Henriette Bruun de Neergaard with her eldest son Henrik by Jens Juel, 1799-1800 Denmark, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
The Athenaeum gives the artist as George William Joy, but this can’t be right because he was born in 1844 - long after this painting was made. I can’t find the painting in the museum’s collections to find out where the confusion comes from.