Saturday, February 4, 2023

01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Ender's Danger inflammable, with Footnotes. #160

Ender
Danger inflammable, c. 2020
Aerosol paint, collage, Stencil
81 x 60 x 1 cm

Mixed media: torn posters and a stencil made with a spray can mounted on canvas. During his interventions on the walls, Ender collects posters. Most often, he uses the reverse side of these posters, which thus keep the imprint of the previous poster. These are broken down into more or less large pieces, like an urban puzzle, from which sometimes the trace of a word or an indication emerges.

Ender was born in 1973, he lives and works in Paris. Professional actor for more than 25 years, inquiring about art in general terms, he started by pasting up his stencils on Parisian walls in 2008.
He acts as a film director when pasting up on the walls of Paris, Rome, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Venice or Florence, making sure the stencil and the wall onto which it is pasted can have a proper dialogue and above all, that the viewers get into the conversation.
At the beginning, the serie Les Mariolles, depicting playful and insolent kids pulling out their tongs to passers-by, will be followed by the serie showing gargoyles, and mythological characters as well as angels. The common ground to all these favored themes lies in the will to borrow classical themes and integrate them into modern times, angels landing on our walls naturally wear hoodies.
Ender's studio work is now shown in different galleries in Paris, Nice, Marseille and Strasbourg. He participated twice in the festival international d'art contemporain des Alpilles.
Mentionned in a dozen books dealing with urban art, he's one of the few french artist in the « Planet Banksy book edited in the United States in 2014. More on Ender




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Sunday, January 29, 2023

06 works, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, The Nieces of Cardinal Mazarin at the court of King Louis XIV of France, with Footnotes. #159

Unknown artist
The Nieces of Cardinal Mazarin
Oil and copper
height: 35 cm (13.7 in); width: 41.5 cm (16.3 in) (1.3 in) Edit this at Wikidata
Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris 

Depicted: Hortense Mancini, Olympia Mancini, Marie Mancini

After Pierre Mignard
Portrait of Olympia Mancini as Aphrodite
Oil on canvas
73 x 59 cm
Private collection

Olympia Mancini, Countess of Soissons (11 July 1638 – 9 October 1708) was the second-eldest of the five celebrated Mancini sisters, who along with two of their female Martinozzi cousins, were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes because their uncle.

Olympia was married on 24 February 1657 to Prince Eugène-Maurice of Savoy (1633–1673), by whom she had eight children, amongst whom was the famous field marshal Prince Eugene of Savoy. At court, the Count of Soissons (comte de Soissons) was addressed as Monsieur le Comte. As his wife, Olympia was referred to at court as Madame la comtesse.

Olympia was accused in 1679 in the Affaire des Poisons of having plotted with La Voisin to poison Louise de La Vallière, of having poisoned her husband, three servants, as well as the king's former sister-in-law Henrietta of England. She was even said to have threatened the King himself with the words, "come back to me, or you will be sorry".

She was asked to leave the royal court in January 1680 and immediately left France for Brussels, thereby avoiding arrest and being put to trial for involvement in the Affaire des Poisons.

She applied in 1682 for permission to return to France, but was not allowed.

She continued from Brussels to Spain, where she was well received and lived from 1686 to 1689, being celebrated by Spanish high society and receiving French guests in her salon. In 1690 she was suspected of having poisoned Queen Maria Luisa of Spain.

On 23 January 1690 she was ordered to leave the Spanish court; she moved back to Brussels, claiming her innocence. Occasionally she travelled to England with her two sisters Marie and Hortense. In Brussels she gave her patronage to musicians Pietro Antonio Fiocco and Henry Desmarest. She died in Brussels on October 9, 1708, just three months after her son Eugene's victory at The Battle of Oudenarde on July 11, 1708, which was her 70th birthday. More on Olympia Mancini

Constantijn Netscher, The Hague 1668 - 1723
Anna Maria (Marie) Mancini, (1639-1715)
Oil on canvas
53.8 x 42.1 cm.; 21⅛ x 16⅝ in.
Private collection

Anna Maria (Marie) Mancini (28 August 1639 – 8 May 1715) was the third of the five Mancini sisters; nieces to Cardinal Mazarin who were brought to France to marry advantageously. The Mancini sisters were known at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes.

Mancini was born on 28 August 1639 and grew up in Rome. Her father was Baron Lorenzo Mancini. After his death in 1650, her mother brought her daughters from Rome to Paris in the hope of using the influence of her brother, Cardinal Mazarin, to gain them advantageous marriages.

Marie Anne married Maurice Godefroy de la Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, a nephew of the famous field marshal Turenne.

In France, Anna Maria's name was gallicized to Marie. "Dark, vivacious and beautiful," Marie captured the biggest prize of the French court: the romantic love of Louis XIV.

Constantijn Netscher (16 December 1668, The Hague – 27 March 1723, The Hague), was an 18th-century painter from the Northern Netherlands.

Constantijn Netscher is known for his portraits, historical allegories and italianate landscapes.  Constantijn was also primarily a portrait artist, but his lighter palette and penchant for opulent drapery and rich costumes already places him stylistically among the artists of the 18th century.

Since 1686, he was a member of the guild at The Hague. Netscher was also a court painter in Württemberg and a very sought after portrait painter in his day. More on Constantijn Netscher

Jacob Ferdinand Voet
 Marie Mancini, circa 1665
Oil on canvas
I have no further description, at this time

Marie did not consummate her relationship with the Sun King. His love for her was a somewhat idealistic one. Eventually, Cardinal Mazarin and the young king's mother, Anne of Austria, separated the couple, banishing Marie into exile in 1661.

Marie was sent away to marry an Italian prince, Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna, who remarked after their wedding night that he was surprised to find her still a virgin. The bridegroom had not expected to find "innocence among the loves of kings" 

After the birth of her third child, relations between Marie and her husband deteriorated. On 29 May 1672, fearing that her husband would kill her, Marie left Rome. In order to support herself, she wrote her memoirs. She did not return to Italy until her husband's death in 1689.

She died in Pisa and is buried in the church of the Holy Sepulchre there. More on Anna Maria (Marie) Mancini

Jacob Ferdinand Voet, (1639–1700)
Portrait of Hortense Mancini and her sister Marie
Oil on canvas
Height: 79.7 cm (31.3 in); Width: 119.3 cm (46.9 in)
Royal Collection

Hortense Mancini, Duchesse de Mazarin (6 June 1646 – 2 July 1699), was the one of the two of three female Martinozzi cousins at the court of King Louis XIV of France as the Mazarinettes.

Jacob Ferdinand Voet  (1639–1700)
Portrait of Hortense Mancini (1646-1699), Duchess of Mazarin, as Cleopatra, c. 17th century
Oil on canvas
Unidentified location

On 1 March 1661, fourteen-year-old Hortense was married to one of the richest men in Europe, Armand Charles de La Porte de La Meilleraye. Upon marriage to Hortense, he was granted the title of duc Mazarin. On the death of Cardinal Mazarin soon after, he gained access to his wife's huge inheritance, which included the Palais Mazarin in Paris, home to many pieces of fine art.

The marriage was not a success. Hortense was young, bright, and popular; Armand-Charles was miserly and extremely jealous, not to mention mentally unstable. 

Despite their differences, Hortense and her husband had four children.

Hortense fled to England in late 1675, accompanied by her pet parrot and her black page, Mustapha. Before long, she became the mistress of Charles II of England, following a considerable line of mistresses.

Hortense's term with the king was short. 

Her memoirs were probably written by the abbé de Saint-Réal from materials supplied by her.

Hortense may have committed suicide.] Her husband managed to continue the drama after her death; he carted her body around with him on his travels in France, before finally allowing it to be interred by the tomb of her uncle, Cardinal Mazarin. More on Hortense Mancini

Jacob Ferdinand Voet (c. 1639 – 26 September 1689) was a Flemish portrait painter. He had an international career, which brought him to Italy and France where he made portraits for an elite clientele. Voet is regarded as one of the best and most fashionable portrait painters of the Late Baroque.

Voet was born in Antwerp as the son of the painter Elias Voet. He travelled to Rome where he resided from 1663 to 1680. Voet became a member of the Bentvueghels, an association of mainly Dutch and Flemish artists active in Rome. 

In 1671-1672 Voet received a commission from Cardinal Chigi to paint portraits of a young woman who were prominent in Roman society. He created a first series of 37 portraits of the most enchanting women of Rome (‘Galleria delle Belle’ This started a rage for portraits of young women in Rome and abroad.

He was banned from the city by Pope Innocent XI who was scandalized by Voet's portraits of women portrayed with unseemly décolleté. He left Rome to Milan in 1680. He was in Florence in 1681. Subsequently he resided in Turin from 1682 to 1684. He returned to Antwerp in 1684. He left his hometown for Paris at some time between 1684 and 1686, and died there in 1689. More on Jacob Ferdinand Voet





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Saturday, January 28, 2023

01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Christine Spengler's Marguerite Duras, La violence du Mékong, with Footnotes. #158

Christine Spengler
Marguerite Duras, La violence du Mékong, c. 1887
Photomontage
100cm x 90cm
Private collection

Marguerite Donnadieu (4 April 1914 – 3 March 1996), known as Marguerite Duras, was a French novelist, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, and experimental filmmaker. 

Duras  was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season's flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to study law in Paris. As a young woman, she worked as a secretary in France's Ministry of Colonies from 1935 to 1941, before becoming a writer. She wrote 34 novels from 1943 to 1993, and became an enduring part of Paris's intellectual elite. In addition to her writing, she also directed about 16 films. For the film India Song (1975), she won France's Cinema Academy Grand Prix. She claimed to have rescued French president François Mitterand during World War II, when he was a resistance fighter and remained a friend and unconditional campaigner. Her most noted novel is "L'Amant", the story of a girl, from a poor French family in Indochina, who becomes the mistress of a wealthy Indochinese notable's son. More on Marguerite Duras

Christine Spengler (born 1945) is a French war photographer. Since 1970, she has photographed and reported on conflicts, primarily from the point of view of the victims of war.

She worked freelance as a photographer for Sipa-Press, Corbis-Sygma, and AP, while she documented wars in Chad, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Kurdistan, Nicaragua, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, among others. Her work has appeared in news publications worldwide, including Paris-Match, Time, Newsweek, El País, The New York Times, and Le Monde. She photographed the Christian Dior winter 2018/2019 ready-to-wear Collection. More on Christine Spengler




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Friday, January 27, 2023

02 works, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Henryk Ippolitovich Siemiradzki's THE GIRL OR THE VASE, with Footnotes. #157

Henryk Ippolitovich Siemiradzki, 1843 - 1902, attributed
THE GIRL OR THE VASE
Oil on canvas.
28 x 42 cm.
Private collection

A sketch for a larger painting, also known as "The Presentation of a Slave" (Below). In an elegant interior, two traders, one in red, the other in blue, offer a young woman. You are about to open the white robe of the woman and present the naked beauty to a seated older, white-clad gentleman who is holding a high vase in his right arm. The presentation is viewed on the right by a man who is kneeling on a chair and another man. More on this painting

Henryk Hektor Siemiradzki (24 October 1843 – 23 August 1902) was a Polish painter based in Rome, best remembered for his monumental academic art. He was particularly known for his depictions of scenes from the ancient Greek-Roman world and the New Testament, owned by many national galleries of Europe.
Many of his paintings depict scenes from antiquity, often the sunlit pastoral scenes or compositions presenting the lives of early Christians. He also painted biblical and historical scenes, landscapes, and portraits. His best-known works include monumental curtains for the Lviv Theatre of Opera and for the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków.
After graduating from university with a Kandidat degree he abandoned his scientific career and moved to Saint Petersburg to study painting at the Imperial Academy of Arts from 1864 to 1870. Upon his graduation he was awarded a gold medal. In 1870–1871 he studied under Karl von Piloty in Munich on a grant from the Academy. In 1872 he moved to Rome and later built a studio there on Via Gaeta, while spending summers at his estate in Strzałków near Częstochowa.

After Henryk Siemiradzki
'Wazon Czy Kobieta (The Girl or the Vase)
Watercolour
38 x 52cm (14 15/16 x 20 1/2in)
Private collection
In 1873 he received the title of Academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts for his painting Christ and a Sinner. In 1878 he received the French National Order of the Legion of Honour and a gold medal at the Paris World's Fair for the painting Flower Vase. In 1876–1879 Siemiradzki worked on frescoes for the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour (Moscow) among his other large-scale projects. In 1879 he offered one of his best-known works, the enormous Pochodnie Nerona (Nero's torches), painted around 1876, to the newly formed Polish National Museum. Around 1893 Siemiradzki worked on two large paintings for the State Historical Museum (Moscow) and in 1894 produced his monumental curtain for the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków.
He died in Strzałków in 1902 and was buried originally in Warsaw, but later his remains were moved to the national Pantheon on Skałka in Kraków. More on Henryk Hektor Siemiradzki




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Sunday, January 22, 2023

01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Henri Baptiste Lebasque's PORTRAIT OF A LADY IN RED, with Footnotes. #155

Henri Baptiste Lebasque, from 1865 to 1937
PORTRAIT OF A LADY IN RED
Oil on canvas on panel.
49.5 x 33 cm
Private collection

Henri Lebasque (25 September 1865 – 7 August 1937) was a French post-impressionist painter. His work is represented in French museums, notably Angers, Geneva (Petit Palais), Lille (Musée des Beaux-Arts), Nantes, and Paris (Musée d’Orsay).

He started his education at the École régionale des beaux-arts d'Angers, and moved to Paris in 1886. Around this time, Lebasque met Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir, who later would have a large impact on his work.

Lebasque's vision was coloured by his contact with younger painters, especially Édouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, founders of Les Nabis, a group of Intimist painters that first favoured the calm and quietude of domestic subject matter. From his first acquaintance with Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Lebasque learnt the significance of a colour theory which stressed the use of complementary colours in shading.

Lebasque was a founding member of the Salon d'Automne in 1903 with his friend Henri Matisse and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants. Two years later, a group of artists exhibited there including Georges Rouault, André Derain, Henri Ottmann, Édouard Vuillard, and Matisse. Lebasque also became friends with artists such as Raoul Dufy, Louis Valtat, and Henri Manguin, the last of whom introduced Lebasque to the South of France.

His time in South of France would lead to a radical transformation in Lebasque’s paintings, changing his colour palette forever. Other travels included the Vendée, Normandy, and Brittany.

Lebasque had some commercial success during his lifetime. He worked on the decorations at the theatre of the Champs-Elysées and of the Transatlantique sealiner.

Lebasque died at Cannet, Alpes Maritimes in 1937. More on Henri Lebasque





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Monday, January 16, 2023

06 works, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Evelyn Nesbit, by Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr., Otto Sarony, Gertrude Käsebier, George Grey Barnard and James Carroll Beckwith, with Footnotes. #154

Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. (1862–1932)
Evelyn Nesbit, c. 1901
Platinum print
9 in x 6 3/4 in; 22.86 cm x 17.145 cm
National Museum of American History

Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. used a wide variety of printing processes, printing out some negatives in more than one medium. In his lectures, he pointed out that this approach to photography was important because in the hands of a photographer who “lives and understands the infinitely varied moods of nature, photography can be made to express and interpret them.” More on this work

Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr. (August 7, 1862 – April 25, 1932) was an American pictorialist photographer, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was one of the first Americans (along with Alfred Stieglitz) to be admitted to the Linked Ring, and his photographs won dozens of medals at exhibitions around the world in the 1890s and early 1900s. He was famous among his contemporaries for his portraits of high-society women, most notably model and singer Evelyn Nesbit. Eickemeyer's best-known photographs are now part of the collections of the Smithsonian Institution. More on Rudolf Eickemeyer Jr.

Otto Sarony,  (1850–1903)
Evelyn Nesbit (1884–1967), c. 1902
Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Otto Sarony (1850–1903) was a portrait photographer and the owner of a celebrity photography business. Napoleon Sarony, the premier theatrical photographer of the 19th century, was his father. Sarony the Younger, as he was known, continued the family business. His photography business put out photos of Evelyn Nesbit, Clara Blandick, Richard Bennett, Elsie Leslie and other stars of stage and screen as well as other celebrities such as boxer Jack Johnson under his name. The actual photographers were uncredited (as he was when he worked for his father). More on Otto Sarony

Evelyn Nesbit (born Florence Evelyn Nesbit, December 25, 1884 or 1885 – January 17, 1967) was an American artists' model, chorus girl, and actress.

In the early part of the 20th century, Nesbit's figure and face appeared frequently in mass circulation newspapers and magazine advertisements, on souvenir items, and in calendars, making her a celebrity. Her career began in her early teens in Philadelphia and continued in New York, where she posed for a cadre of respected artists of the era. She had the distinction of being an early fashion and artists' model in an era when both fashion photography and the pin-up were just beginning their ascendancy.

Artist unknown
Evelyn Nesbitt circa 1903

Nesbit received further worldwide attention when her husband, the mentally unstable multimillionaire Harry Kendall Thaw, shot and killed the prominent architect and New York socialite Stanford White in front of hundreds of witnesses, leading to what the press would call the "Trial of the Century". 

Thaw was sentenced to life incarceration in a hospital for the criminally insane. As Uruburu says, “Tragically, almost as quickly as her star rose, America’s first supermodel, sex goddess and bona-fide celebrity fell victim to the very culture that created and consumed her.”

Gertrude Käsebier, (1852–1934)
Evelyn Nesbit, c. 1900 

Gertrude Käsebier (May 18, 1852 – October 12, 1934) was an American photographer. She was known for her images of motherhood, her portraits of Native Americans, and her promotion of photography as a career for women.

After studying painting at Pratt Institute and opening a portrait studio in New York in 1897, she switched to photography, displaying the influence of her painting training in her Pictorialist style. Her family and friends posed for her most celebrated series of photographs on the subject of motherhood.

Käsebier was one of the first two women to be elected to the British Linked Ring; two years later she became a founding member of Stieglitz's Photo-Secession group. Stieglitz continued to champion her by devoting the first issue of his second journal, Camera Work, to her images. Käsebier broke with Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession in 1912 but continued to photograph until she closed her studio in 1929. More on Gertrude Käsebier 


Nesbit showed resilience and made a life for herself after these traumatic events – as a mother, a silent-screen actress, a vaudeville performer and the writer of two memoirs. Along with the art works and photographs that survive of Nesbit, there have been poems and plays about her, the 1955 film The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and the novel Ragtime by EL Doctorow, which features a subplot about the murder, and was adapted to a film and a musical. More on Evelyn Nesbitt

James Carroll Beckwith, (1852–1917)
Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, circa 1901
Oil on canvas
Height: 31″ (78.7 cm); Width: 26.5″ (67.3 cm)
Private collection

James Carroll Beckwith, (1852-1917), was a portrait, genre and landscape painter born in 1852. He studied at the National Academy of Design, NYC, in 1871 as well as Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. While living in Paris, Beckwith shared a studio with Sargent. They both assisted a former teacher, Emile Carolus-Duran, in painting ceiling decoration in the Louvre. He also exhibited at the Paris Salon four times between the years 1877-87. In 1910 Beckwith moved to Italy for four years where he worked on plein-air landscapes that were full of sun and color. Although most of his work was basically academic, he felt a strong Impressionistic impression. Beckwith was also a highly respected teacher at the Art Students League in NYC, where he taught an antiques course. In 1917 Beckwith met with his friend, the painter Thomas Moran, and decided he would write his autobiography. Unfortunately Beckwith passed away later that same year before he could complete Souvenirs and Reminiscences. His wife donated the unfinished manuscript to the National Academy of Design. More on James Carroll Beckwith

George Grey Barnard  (1863–1938)
"Innocence", also known as "Maidenhood", c. 1902
The model was Evelyn Nesbit
Brookgreen Gardens

George Grey Barnard (May 24, 1863 – April 24, 1938), often written George Gray Barnard, was an American sculptor who trained in Paris. He is especially noted for his heroic sized Struggle of the Two Natures in Man at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, his twin sculpture groups at the Pennsylvania State Capitol, and his Lincoln statue in Cincinnati, Ohio. His major works are largely symbolical in character. His personal collection of Medieval architectural fragments forms a core part of The Cloisters in New York City. More on George Grey Barnard



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Saturday, January 14, 2023

1 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Studio of Sir Peter Lely's Portrait of Queen Catherine of Braganza, with Footnotes. #152

Studio of Sir Peter Lely (SOEST 1618-1680 LONDON)
Portrait of Queen Catherine of Braganza
Oil on canvas
101.8 x 78.8cm (40 1/16 x 31in).
Private collection

Catherine Of Braganza, (born Nov. 25, 1638, Vila Viçosa, Port.—died Dec. 31, 1705, Lisbon), Portuguese Roman Catholic wife of King Charles II of England (ruled 1660–85). A pawn in diplomatic dealings and anti-papal intrigues, she was married to Charles as part of an important alliance between England and Portugal.

Catherine’s father became King John IV of Portugal in 1640. Her marriage, which took place in May 1662, brought England valuable trading privileges and the port cities of Tangier (in Morocco) and Bombay. In return, England pledged to help Portugal maintain its independence from Spain.

The young queen had little personal charm, and, despite her deep affection for Charles, he paid less attention to her than to his mistresses. When it became apparent that she would bear the King no children, opponents of his brother, James, duke of York, urged him to divorce her in the hope that Charles could then be induced to wed a Protestant. In 1678 they accused Catherine of scheming to poison the King and place his Roman Catholic brother James on the throne. But Charles, who never doubted his wife’s innocence, stood by her until she was cleared of the charges. Catherine helped convert Charles to the Roman Catholic Church shortly before he died in 1685, and in 1692 she returned to Portugal. In 1704 she became regent of Portugal for her ailing brother, King Pedro II. More on Catherine Of Braganza


Peter Lely, Dutch, British, English (Born Soest, Westphalia, 14 September 1618; died London, 30 November 1680). Painter of Dutch origin who spent almost all his career in England and was naturalized in 1662. His family name was originally van der Faes, and the name Lely is said to have come from a lily carved on the house in The Hague where his father was born. Lely was born in Germany and trained in Haarlem.

He moved to England in the early 1640s, and although he first painted figure compositions in landscapes (Sleeping Nymphs, c.1650, Dulwich Picture Gal., London), he soon turned to the more profitable field of portraiture. 

Fortune shone on him, for within a few years of his arrival the best portraitists in England disappeared from the scene: van Dyck and William Dobson died in 1641 and 1646 respectively, and Cornelius Johnson returned to Holland in 1643. In 1654 he was described as ‘the best artist in England’. Lely portrayed Charles I and his children, Oliver Cromwell and his son Richard, and other leading figures of the Interregnum. With the aid of a team of assistants he maintained an enormous output, and his fleshy, sleepy beauties clad in exquisite silks and his bewigged courtiers have created the popular image of Restoration England. More on Peter Lely






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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

1 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Charles Jervas' Lady Elizabeth Egerton, Countess of Bridgewater, with Footnotes. #151

Charles Jervas (Dublin c. 1675-1739 London)
Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Egerton, Countess of Bridgewater (1687-1714)
Oil on canvas
47 5/8 x 37 5/8 in. (121 x 95.5 cm.)
Private collection

Elizabeth Churchill was the third daughter and co-heiress of the great English general John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. She married Scroope Egerton 4th Earl of Bridgewater in February 1703.

“Scroop held various high offices at Court in successive reigns; and ‘in consideration of his great merits’ was created in 1720 Duke of Bridgewater. He and his ‘great merits’ are well nigh forgotten, but the memory of his first Duchess still faintly survives, embalmed in the verse of Pope. Jervas, Pope’s friend and teacher in the pictorial art, had painted portraits of this once-famous beauty; and the little bard himself had made various sketches of her, all of which he threw into the fire. Hence several allusions to her in ‘the Epistle to Mr Jervas’ in whose pictures, according to Pope, ‘Beauty, waking all her forms, supplies An angel’s sweetness, or Bridgewater’s eyes’…and…’Churchill’s race shall other hearts surprise.” More on Elizabeth Churchill 

Charles Jervas (1675-1739) claimed to be in love with the beautiful Churchill heiress who became his muse and inspiration for many portrait commissions. Taken with her overall beauty, he proceeded to use this as a template for his other portraits, where reality and individual likeness was of secondary importance to a preconceived idea of what constituted an elegant composition and beautiful countenance. Thus Lady Bridgewater’s features can be seen throughout many of his client’s portraits at this time.

This small full-length probably records a lost portrait on the scale of life. Certainly other portraits by Jervas exist which follow this composition but reduced to half or three-quarter length formats. The survival of this copy allows us to appreciate the elegance of the original composition and for the first time shows the noble greyhound at the Countess’s feet. 

Don Quixote, 1675 - 1739, came from Ireland in about 1694 and studied painting under Sir Godfrey Kneller. Following a visit to Rome to learn drawing by copying antiques. His home, which he gradually filled with an art collection, became a rendezvous for literary friends: Addison, Swift and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. More on Charles Jervas





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