Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842 – 1931)

Woman in Carriage

Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842 – 1931)

 “Woman in Carriage” Oil on Canvas. 38 x 28 inches.

Giovanni Boldini (31 December 1842 – 11 July 1931) was an Italian genre and portrait painter who lived and worked in Paris for most of his career. According to a 1933 article in Time magazine, he was known as the “Master of Swish” because of his flowing style of painting.

Boldini was born in Ferrara, the son of a painter of religious subjects, and in 1862 went to Florence for six years to study and pursue painting. He only infrequently attended classes at the Academy of Fine Arts, but in Florence, met other realist painters known as the Macchiaioli, who were Italian precursors to Impressionism. Their influence is seen in Boldini’s landscapes which show his spontaneous response to nature, although it is for his portraits that he became best known.

Moving to London, Boldini attained success as a portraitist. He completed portraits of premier members of society including Lady Holland and the Duchess of Westminster. From 1872 he lived in Paris, where he became a friend of Edgar Degas. He became the most fashionable portrait painter in Paris in the late 19th century, with a dashing style of painting which shows some Macchiaioli influence and a brio reminiscent of the work of younger artists, such as John Singer Sargent and Paul Helleu. He was nominated commissioner of the Italian section of the Paris Exposition in 1889, and received the Légion d’honneur for this appointment.

In 1897 he had a solo exhibition in New York. He participated in the Venice Biennale in 1895, 1903, 1905, and 1912. He died in Paris on 11 July 1931.

Giovanni Boldini is a character in the ballet Franca Florio, regina di Palermo, written in 2007 by the Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero, which depicts the story of Donna Franca, a famous Sicilian aristocrat whose exceptional beauty inspired him and many other artists, musicians, poets and emperors during the Belle Époque.

A Boldini portrait of his former muse Marthe de Florian, a French actress, was discovered in a Paris flat in late 2010, hidden away from view on the premises that were unvisited for 70 years. The portrait has never been listed, exhibited or published and the flat belonged to de Florian’s granddaughter who went to live in the South of France at the outbreak of the Second World War and never returned. A love-note and a biographical reference to the work painted in 1888, when the actress was 24, cemented its authenticity. A full-length portrait of the lady in the same clothing and accessories, but less provocative, hangs in the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The discovery of his painting in the 70-years-empty apartment forms the background to Michelle Gable’s 2014 novel A Paris Apartment.

Balthazar Beschey (Dutch, 1708 – 1776)

“The Assumption of the Virgin” 30 1/4 x 20, Oil on Canvas

Balthasar Beschey (Dutch, 1708 – 1776) was born Antwerp in 1708, studied under Pieter Strick, an unimportant painter, but imitated the styles of Van Balen and of De Craeyer. In 1753 he was admitted as a freeman of the Guild of St. Luke, and two years later became one of the six directors of the Academy in the above town, and in the year following that was elected dean of St. Luke. He died in 1776, at Antwerp, while holding the post of professor in the Academy of that city.

He painted landscapes at the commencement of his artistic career, but confined himself in after life to sacred history and portraiture. In the two latter branches of art he is well represented. His works display a taste for harmony, and are for the most part carefully executed, but are wanting in delicacy of coloring.

Jose Frappa (French, 1854 – 1904)

Jose Frappa (French, 1854-1904) “The Cardinal’s Birthday” Oil on Panel. 36.25 x 44.5 inches.

Jose Frappa spent his childhood in the town of St-Etienne, about 20 miles southwest of Lyon, France. Born on April 18, 1854 to Rose and Jean-Claude Frappa, he grew up during the relatively stable Second Empire period when France was perceived as both a political and cultural leader in Europe. The family grocery store was apparently at the center of daily life in St. Etienne, and Frappa seems to be fondly remembered there even now.

The young Frappa showed an interest—and talent—in the visual arts from the time he was quite young. Building on this interest, his parents apprenticed him as a designer in silk trade in Lyon. However, Frappa soon determined that his interest was primarily in the art of painting, rather than textile design. His parents were less than enthusiastic about this development, but eventually agreed that he should attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon.

Frappa enrolled at the art school in 1872 when he was eighteen years old, the year after France’s resounding defeat at the hands of the Prussian army. Fortunately for the city of Lyon, the Prussian advance on Paris and Versailles was sufficient to end the war before hostilities spread further south. Despite the gravity of France’s occupation by Prussian forces, Lyon remained a thriving industrial center in the late nineteenth century; more significant for Frappa, it offered him an exciting introduction to metropolitan life.

Frappa decided to pursue his passion for painting and moved to the big city of Paris to study at the national Ecole des Beaux-Arts. According to an 1890 source, Frappa studied first with Isadore Pils (1813-1875), and then with Charles Comte (1823-1895) and Jehan-Georges Vibert (1840-1902) after Pils’ death in 1875. [i] Both Comte and Vibert specialized in anecdotal genre paintings, which were very popular during the early years of the Third Republic.

Frappa’s painting, The Flautist, which is dated 1875, reflects the influence of his professors in this genre. It not only demonstrates the young artist’s competence in drawing and composition, but also provides a glimpse of the type of subject that will come to characterize much of his work. The painting is clearly an image of a model posing as a flautist in a staged setting, which may even have been intended as a reference to Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute. It is light-hearted and just intriguing enough to draw the viewer into imagining a narrative to fit the scene. Frappa will continue to refine this approach over the years as he explored a variety of anecdotal genre subjects ranging from scenes of monks and cardinals of the Catholic church to rococo-revival lovers’ trysts.

When Frappa made his Salon debut in 1876, anecdotal genre painting was amply displayed and widely appreciated by the public. According to Emile Zola’s review of the Salon that year, viewers stood in line to see The Flower Market by Marie-François Firmin-Girard (1838-1921), a charming depiction of beautiful women among the flower sellers next to the Seine. More influential for Frappa, however, was The Cardinal’s Antechamber, a painting by Vibert, in which a red-robed cardinal addresses a lovely young woman seated in an opulent setting. Vibert was well known for this type of image, and undoubtedly mentored Frappa as he began to define his own artistic path. Four years later, he won an honorable mention at the 1880 Salon, no small achievement among a field of 7,289 entries, the largest number ever at the Paris Salon.

In his personal life, Frappa was also thriving. He married Madeleine Marie Augustine Frézet in 1881 and set up housekeeping with her in the 17th arrondissement on the northwest side of Paris. On April 3, 1881, their only son, Jean José Frappa was born. It was during these years that Frappa seems to have begun to develop his reputation as a portrait painter. The earliest securely dated portrait is from 1884 and shows a beautiful young woman in a sumptuously lace-trimmed gown. Known only as Portrait d’élégante, she was clearly a woman of style and presumably wealth. With a new family to support, Frappa undoubtedly realized that portrait painting could provide a reliable income if he was successful at it.

During the 1880s, he also began exhibiting his work in both London and the United States, expanding the market for his paintings beyond the borders of France. He held an exhibition in London in June 1887 and appears to have continued this practice well into the 1890s. Frappa was particularly active in the American art market, with representation through galleries in New York City. Although his work was probably quite widely appreciated in the United States, it is securely documented in the collection of William H. Shaw and in the catalogue of the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco. By 1888, Frappa was sufficiently affluent to move his family into new quarters at 12, rue de Pergolèse in the decidedly fashionable 16th arrondissement near the Bois de Boulogne.

Frappa’s prosperity depended in part on his ability to work in a variety of genres ranging from traditional portraiture and realistic narratives depicting serious subjects to the amusing anecdotal scenes of religious figures, particularly cardinals and monks engaged in all too human foibles of enjoying a glass of wine or playing popular card games.

Public acclaim for Frappa’s work increased considerably in the late 1880s and 1890s. He was twice a member of the Conseil des 90 de la Société des Artistes Français, a private council that today might be called an executive committee; and an associate member of the newly created Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts led by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. In 1890, he began exhibiting at the Salon du Champ de Mars that was associated with the Société. During this decade, Frappa was also exploring the world of publishing, both as an illustrator and as an author. His illustration entitled Fleur et Papillon was included in the limited edition publication of Chansons et Poesies de Camille Roy in 1898; and simultaneously, he was working on a book of his own on the subject of expression in the human face. Published by the Librairie générale des art décoratifs in 1902, Frappa’s book, Les expressions de la physionomie humaine, became a seminal book for analyzing how human beings could (or could not) control their facial expressions. This type of scientific inquiry was typical of the post-Darwinian world in which both artists and scientists sought to understand how humans fit into the scheme of biological development.

In 1897, Frappa was represented in the Exposition Internationale in Brussels with two paintings, Le dispensaire d’enfants (The Children’s Clinic) and La femme au manteau bleu (The Woman in the Blue Cloak) and was awarded the Legion of Honor medal on February 4, 1898, in large part because of his work on the exposition.

After such a remarkable career, beginning in the family grocery story in St. Etienne and ultimately becoming a respected and successful painter in Paris, Frappa’s life ended rather early at age 50 in 1904. He did not live to see his son become a well-known author, playwright and editor of Le Monde Illustré. Frappa is buried not far from his home in the Boulogne-Billancourt cemetery. In his hometown of St. Etienne, he was honored with a large monument in front of the town hall. Sculpted by Georges Bareau, the dedication ceremony on Mary 17, 1912 was attended by the national minister of fine arts as well as the mayor of St. Etienne and of course, Frappa’s widow, son and mother.

Francesc Sans Castaño (Spanish, 1868 – 1937)

Francesc Sans Castaño (Spanish, 1868 – 1937) “Sabio”. Oil on Canvas. 24 x 31.5 inches.

Francisco (or Francesc) Sans Castaño was a Spanish painter and engraver.

Born in Barcelona, he studied at the School of Fine Arts of Barcelona. He collaborated at the Hojas Selectas magazine. He was a member of the Barcelona’s Circle of Fine Arts, a dissident organization of the Artistic Circle.

He took part in the 1882, 1887, 1890, 1899 and 1910 National Exhibitions (winning an honorary mention in that of 1887) and in the 1911 World’s Fair, winning a third-class medal.

Marie Adelaide Kindt (Belgian, 1804 – 1893)

Marie Adelaide Kindt (Belgian, 1804-1893). “The Music Lesson”. Oil on Canvas. 37 X 44 inches.

Adèle Kindt was a Belgian painter; known primarily for portraits and genre scenes.

Born in Brussels into a family that produced many female artists, Marie-Adélaïde Kindt was trained in drawing by engraver Antoine Cardon. She studied painting under Sophie Rude and François-Joseph Navez and was encouraged by Jacques-Louis David.

Although trained as a neoclassicist, Kindt produced work informed by Romanticism. Her early works included many historical scenes. Her Épisode des journées de septembre 1830, portraying a scene from the Belgian Revolution of 1830, is considered her masterpiece and is on display in the Brussels city museum on the Grand Place.

After the 1840s, Kindt painted much less ambitious works, largely portraiture and genre scenes. Although she adapted her style to suit the changing tastes of the public, she never recaptured the success of her early career. She died in Brussels. Her date of death is usually said to have been in 1884, but this has also been described as a “stubborn error” that should be corrected to 8 May 1893. Her death was reported in the newspaper Le Patriote on 12 May 1893, in coverage of registrations of births, deaths and marriages in the city of Brussels.

Her younger sisters Clara and Laurence were landscape painters, as was her sister-in-law Isabelle Kindt-Van Assche.

Paul Hermann Wagner (German, 1852 – 1937)

Paul Hermann Wagner (German, 1852 – 1937). “Mother & Child”. Oil on Canvas. 39.5 X 28 inches.

Paul Wagner was a landscape and figure painter who was born in Rothenburg on the 1st January 1852. He studied in Munich in 1875 with Ludwig Von Lofftz. He also studied with Wilhelm Von Lindenschmit and in 1884 studied under Albert Schmidt in Schafflerstrae. He is known for his superb technique and brushwork in his figures of Nymphs, Fairies and also his landscape paintings.

Unknown Artist 19th/20th Century

Unknown Artist. :Having a Drink”. 19th/20th Century. Oil on Canvas. 23.5 X 35.5 inches.

Illegible signature bottom right of canvas.

Frans Wilhelm Odelmark (Swedish, 1849 – 1937)

Frans Wilhelm Odelmark (Swedish, 1849 – 1937) “Arab figures in a Cairo” Oil on Canvas. 35.5 X 21.5 inches.

Frans Wilhelm Odelmark was a Swedish artist noted for his genre paintings and Orientalist themes.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Stockholm and after that in Düsseldorf and in Munich. He painted people in everyday live and picturesque architectural subjects, mainly with subjects from Europe and the Orient, staying in Egypt for an extended period and where he made many colorful paintings of Cairo. He executed works in watercolor, pastel and oil.


Spanish School 19th Century

19th century Spanish school. “Prayer on the wall”. Oil on canvas. 36 x 43.5 inches.

The new 19th century costume painting was born as a way of interpreting a growing feeling of national conscience, now present in the middle class as it advanced towards social hegemony. To a certain extent, the painters’ concern was to deepen the vision of their country through a language, that of painting, which everyone could understand, thus helping the common people to understand the nature and meaning of their nationality, especially as it had manifested itself in the recent past, still vivid in the memory of the elders. Of the two fundamental costumbrista schools of 19th-century Spain, the Sevillian and Madrid schools, the latter differs from the gentle picturesqueness of the former in its more pungent and harsh vision, sometimes going so far as to depict not only the vulgar, but even indulging in heart-rending visions of a clichéd world of the working class, in which the spirit of criticism is evident.

Spanish art has been an important contributor to Western art and Spain has produced many famous and influential artists including Velázquez, Goya and Picasso. Spanish art was particularly influenced by France and Italy during the Baroque and Neoclassical periods, but Spanish art has often had very distinctive characteristics, partly explained by the Moorish heritage in Spain (especially in Andalusia), and through the political and cultural climate in Spain during the Counter-Reformation and the subsequent eclipse of Spanish power under the Bourbon dynasty.

The prehistoric art of Spain had many important periods-it was one of the main centres of European Upper Paleolithic art and the rock art of the Spanish Levant in the subsequent periods. In the Iron Age large parts of Spain were a centre for Celtic art, and Iberian sculpture has a distinct style, partly influenced by coastal Greek settlements. Spain was conquered by the Romans by 200 BC and Rome was rather smoothly replaced by the Germanic Visigoths in the 5th century AD, who soon Christianized. The relatively few remains of Visigothic art and architecture show an attractive and distinct version of wider European trends. With the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century there was a notable Moorish presence in art specially in Southern Iberia. Over the following centuries the wealthy courts of Al-Andalus produced many works of exceptional quality, culminating in the Alhambra in Granada, right at the end of Muslim Spain.

Meanwhile, the parts of Spain remaining Christian, or that were re-conquered, were prominent in Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art. Late Gothic Spanish art flourished under the unified monarchy in the Isabelline Gothic and Plateresque styles, and the already strong traditions in painting and sculpture began to benefit from the influence of imported Italian artists. The enormous wealth that followed the flood of American gold saw lavish spending on the arts in Spain, much of it directed at religious art in the Counter-Reformation. Spanish control of the leading centre of North European art, Flanders, from 1483 and also of the Kingdom of Naples from 1548, both ending in 1714, had a great influence on Spanish art, and the level of spending attracted artists from other areas, such as El Greco, Rubens and (from a safe distance) Titian in the Spanish Golden Age, as well as great native painters such as Diego Velázquez, José de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Spanish Baroque architecture has survived in large quantity, and has both strains marked by exuberant extravagance, as in the Churrigueresque style, and a rather severe classicism, as in the work of Juan de Herrera. It was generally the former which marked the emerging art and Spanish Colonial architecture of the Spanish Empire outside Europe, as in Latin America (New Spanish Baroque and Andean Baroque), while the Baroque Churches of the Philippines are simpler. The decline of the Habsburg monarchy brought this period to an end, and Spanish art in the 18th and early-19th century was generally less exciting, with the huge exception of Francisco Goya. The rest of 19th-century Spanish art followed European trends, generally at a conservative pace, until the Catalan movement of Modernisme, which initially was more a form of Art Nouveau. Picasso dominates Spanish Modernism in the usual English sense, but Juan Gris, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró are other leading figures.

Frank Moss Bennett (British, 1874 – 1952)

Frank Moss Bennett, British 1874-1952 “A Game of Cards”. Oil on Canvas. 22 x 30 inches.

Frank Moss Bennett (1874–1952) was a British painter of portraits, historical scenes and architecture. He was known for his posthumous portraits, particularly of soldiers killed during the First World War, which were commissioned by grieving relatives as a remembrance of their sons and husbands.

Frank Moss Bennett was born on 15 November 1874 in Liverpool, England. He was educated at the Clifton College, a private boarding school in Bristol. He then studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, St John’s Wood Art School, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London where he won the Gold Medal and Travel Scholarship. The latter enabled him to spend a year travelling in Italy.

He painted portraits as well as historic and religious paintings. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1898 to 1928 as well as the Liverpool Art Gallery from 1899 to 1932. More recently, his work has been auctioned by Christie’s and Bonhams. His portrait of Theodore Martin is at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

He married Margaret Alma Pellew in 1907. They had a son, Edward Fleetwood Pellew, and a daughter, Barbara Francis. They resided in London. By 1938, they moved to Whetcombe Barton farm in Newton Abbot, Devon.

Bennett died on 23 February 1952 at Whetcombe Barton, Newton Abbot, England.

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