La Muse du Peintre

Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin (French, 1860-1943) – La Muse du Peintre, c.1900 (Oil on canvas) – – Painted circa 1900, the present work is the culmination in a series of allegorical figures and muses that Martin produced in the 1890s. Martin was particularly fond of the theme of the muse in the form of a beautiful young woman ‘visiting’ the artist. He first explored the subject in 1885 in the painting Le Philosophe ou L’Inspiration du poète.

Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin - La Muse du Peintre

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The Reading

Ettore Tito (Italian, 1859-1941) – The Reading, 1907 (Oil on canvas) – Tito was an particularly known for his paintings of contemporary life and landscapes in Venice and the surrounding region. He trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice and from 1894 to 1927 was the Professor of Painting there. Tito exhibited widely and was awarded the Grand Prize in painting at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

Ettore Tito - The Reading

The Letter

Carl Larsson (Swedish, 1853-1919) – The Letter, 1885 (Oil on panel) – The work captures the delightful light-filled drawing room in Lilla Hyttnäs in Sundborn, the cottage occupied at the time by Karin Larsson’s two great-aunts Ulla and Maria. Ulla, beautifully presented in her finely tailored dress, is perched on one of two Gustavian chairs engrossed in reading a letter, itself a traditional compositional pose.

Carl Larsson - The Letter

The Garden of the Hesperides

Edward Burne-Jones (English, 1833-1898) – The Garden of the Hesperides, c.1869-73 (Watercolor on paper on canvas. Hamburger Kunsthalle) – Burne-Jones copied details from Botticelli’s Primavera (circa 1478) in the rhythmic concept of the Hesperide group. The faces, on the other hand, were modeled on real models, including his beloved Mary Zambaco. The physicality of the dancers and the lightness of their movement is accentuated by the transparent robes.

Edward Burne-Jones - The Garden of the Hesperides

The Sketchers

John Singer Sargent (American, 1856-1925) – The Sketchers, 1913 (Oil on canvas. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) – Mary Foote, a member of the San Vigilio circle that September in 1913, intently works on an unseen canvas in a lush olive grove in San Vigilio, overlooking Lake Gard. The seated figure viewed from the back is Wilfrid de Glehn. This fluidly painted, dynamic work reveals Sargent at his arguably most modern and experimental stage of picture making, marking an exciting transitional moment in his career.

John Singer Sargent - The Sketchers

Woman with a Cat

Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955) – Woman with a Cat, 1921 (Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art) – Motionless and frontal, this colossal nude might be made of stone or metal, evoking at once a classical sculpture and a futuristic robot. While Léger’s subject is rooted in European, particularly French, artistic traditions, his streamlined style reflects contemporary design aesthetics that the painter’s friend, the architect Le Corbusier, advocated and popularized.

Fernand Léger - Woman with a Cat

Nude Girl Reading

Sir William Orpen (Irish, 1878-1931) – Nude Girl Reading, c.1921 (Oil on canvas) – Model Yvonne Aubicq reads intently. Orpen shows the disarray of the model’s clothes, her wrinkled white stocking and the open handbag. Orpen observes the tension of limbs, the luminous touches on her body, and the blush of fingers and face. The head, tilted towards the viewer is skillfully captured with economy. The pose, for all its complexity, is natural and Orpen looks down at her in a warm caress.

Sir William Orpen - Nude Girl Reading