Saturday, October 14, 2017

09 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #14

Youssef Nabil, B. 1972, EGYPTIAN
PORTRAIT OF JANNANE AL ANI
Hand-coloured gelatin silver print
38 by 25cm.; 15 by 9 7/8 in.
Private collection

Jananne Al-Ani was born in Kirkuk, Iraq in 1966. She studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and graduated with an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 1997. She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London, and lives and works in London.

Working with photography, film and video, Al-Ani has an ongoing interest in the documentary tradition, through intimate recollections and more official accounts. Her work also engages with the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation.

Summarising her work , Al-Ani said: "I have a longstanding interest in the representation of the body. The earliest works I exhibited were concerned with the way women's bodies have been represented throughout the history of western painting. In advance of the development of photography and film, the shifting ideals of feminine beauty were clearly mapped out in the work of artists. However, the media coverage of the 1991 Gulf War, which focused on aerial and satellite images of a depopulated, barren landscape, had a major impact on my work. What followed was a reassessment on my part of the work of Orientalist painters and the way in which fantasies about the body and the landscape of the Middle East were constructed in their works. I began to see the body itself as a contested territory and during the 90s produced a series of works that attempted to counter the European obsession with uncovering and exposing the bodies of veiled women. More recently, with the Aesthetics of Disappearance project, I've attempted to re-occupy that space so, while the presence of the body is implied rather than explicit, the traces of human activity in the landscape are clear to see. More om Jananne Al-Ani

Youssef Nabil (born 6 November 1972) is an Egyptian artist and photographer. Fascinated by cinema in his youth, Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil captures the contemporary paradoxes of the Middle East through the lens of fantasy. In 2003, Nabil was awarded The Seydou Keita Prize for Portraiture from the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, Bamako, Mali and in 2005 he was honored by the International Photography Awards, Los Angeles, CA. His first film, You Never Left, was first exhibited in 2010. His work has been the subject of recent solo shows at Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France (2012); Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris, France (2011); Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2010); Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA (2010); GALERIST, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Villa Medici, Rome, Italy (2009); The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2009); and Volker Diehl Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2009). More on Youssef Nabil

Kees van Dongen, (1877 - 1968)
La Marquise de Casati , Circa 1950
Lithograph printed in colours on wove paper
23 3/8 x 11 3/4 in.
Private collection

Luisa, Marchesa Casati Stampa di Soncino (23 January 1881 – 1 June 1957), also known as Luisa Casati, was an Italian heiress, muse, and patroness of the arts in early 20th-century Europe known for her eccentricities. As the concept of quaintrelle was re-developed, Marchesa Casati fitted the utmost example by saying: "I want to be a living work of art".

Luisa was born in Milan, youngest of two daughters of Alberto Amman and his wife Lucia. Her father was of Austrian descent, while her mother was Italian and Austrian. Alberto Amman father was made a count by King Umberto I. Countess Amman died when Luisa was thirteen, and Count Amman died two years later, making his daughters, Luisa and her older sister, Francesca (1880–1919, married Giulio Padulli), reportedly the wealthiest women in Italy. More on Marquise de Casati

Cornelis Theodorus Maria 'Kees' van Dongen (26 January 1877 – 28 May 1968) was a Dutch-French painter and one of the Fauves at the controversial 1905 Salon d'Automne exhibition. He gained a reputation for his sensuous, at times garish, portraits.

Kees van Dongen was born in Delfshaven, a borough of Rotterdam. He was the second of four children in a middle-class family. In 1892, at age 16, Kees van Dongen started his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam During this period (1892–97), van Dongen frequented the Red Quarter seaport area, where he drew scenes of sailors and prostitutes. He met Augusta Preitinger at the Academy, a fellow painter.

In 1897, van Dongen lived in Paris for several months, where there was a large emigre community. Van Dongen began to exhibit in Paris, and participated in the controversial 1905 Salon d'Automne exhibition[4] along with Henri Matisse, André Derain, Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck, Charles Camoin, and Jean Puy.

Van Dongen’s candid, colourful portrait style was immensely fashionable by the end of World War I, and thereafter it remained his main focus. The figure of a glamorous woman with large eyes and red lips became his archetype. More on Kees van Dongen

Sandro Botticelli,  (1445–1510) 
Portrait of a Lady, known as Smeralda Brandini, c. 1470 and 1475
Tempera on panel
Height: 65.7 cm (25.9 in). Width: 41 cm (16.1 in).
Victoria and Albert Museum

The Portrait of Smeralda Brandini is a tempera on panel painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli of about 1475, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The identification of the sitter is based on the old, but probably not original, inscription on the windowsill at the bottom of the picture Smeralda di M.Bandinelli Moglie di VI, the wife of Viviano Brandini, mother of the prominent Florentine goldsmith Michelangelo de Viviano de Brandini of Gaiuole, and grandmother of the sculptor Baccio Bandinelli (the son of Michelangelo). From archive documents it is known that in 1469 Smeralda was 30. More on Smeralda Brandini

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli (1445 –1510), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School.  Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.

Botticelli was born in Florence. He was initially trained as a goldsmith. There are very few details of Botticelli's life, but it is known that he became an apprentice when he was about fourteen years old. By 1462 he was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi; many of his early works have been attributed to the elder master, and attributions continue to be uncertain. Influenced also by the monumentality of Masaccio's painting, it was from Lippi that Botticelli learned a more intimate and detailed manner.

By 1470, Botticelli had his own workshop. His work was characterized by a conception of the figure as if seen in low relief, drawn with clear contours, and minimizing strong contrasts of light and shadow which would indicate fully modelled forms.

In the mid-1480s, Botticelli worked on a major fresco cycle for Lorenzo the Magnificent's villa near Volterra; in addition he painted many frescoes in Florentine churches. In 1491 he served on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence.

Botticelli never wed, and expressed a strong disliking to the idea of marriage, a prospect he claimed gave him nightmares. More on Sandro Botticelli

Anthony van Dyck, (1599–1641)
Princess Henrietta Maria of France, Queen consort of England, circa 1636 and circa 1638
Oil on canvas
San Diego Museum

Henrietta Maria of France (25 November[1609 – 10 September 1669) was queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. She was mother of his two immediate successors, Charles II and James II.

Her Roman Catholicism made her unpopular in England, and also prohibited her from being crowned in an Anglican service. She never had a coronation. She began to immerse herself in national affairs as civil war loomed on the horizon, and was compelled to seek refuge in France in 1644, following the birth of her youngest daughter, Henrietta, during the height of the First English Civil War. The execution of King Charles in 1649 left her impoverished. She settled in Paris, and then returned to England after the Restoration of her eldest son, Charles, to the throne. In 1665, she moved back to Paris, where she died four years later.

The North American Province of Maryland was named in her honour, and the name was carried over into the current U.S. state of Maryland. More on Henrietta Maria

Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More Sir Anthony van Dyck


Guercino, (1591–1666)
The Persian Sibyl, c. (1647 - 1648)
Oil on canvas
Height: 1,170 mm (46.06 in). Width: 960 mm (37.8 in).
Capitoline Museums, Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill, Rome, Italy.


The Persian Sibyl - also known as the Babylonian, Hebrew or Egyptian Sibyl - was the prophetic priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle.

The word "Sibyl" , meaning "prophetess, there were many Sibyls in the ancient world, but the Persian Sibyl allegedly foretold the exploits of Alexander of Macedon. She has had at least three names: Sambethe, Helrea and Sabbe.

Sambethe was said to be of the family of Noah. A painting of Sibilla Persica by Guercino hangs in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. The medieval Byzantine encyclopedia, the Suda, credits the Hebrew Sibyl as author of the Sibylline oracles, a collection of texts of the 2nd to 4th century which were collected in the 6th century. More on The Persian Sibyl 



AFTER GUERCINO, 19TH CENTURY
The Persian Sybil
Oil on canvas
112 x 74cm
Private collection

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 – December 22, 1666), best known as Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from the region of Emilia, and active in Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early manner is in contrast to the classical equilibrium of his later works. His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.

Mainly self-taught, at the age of 16, he worked as apprentice in the shop of Benedetto Gennari, a painter of the Bolognese School. By 1615, he moved to Bologna, where his work was praised by Ludovico Carracci. Guercino painted two large canvases, Elijah Fed by Ravens and Samson Seized by Philistines, for Cardinal Serra, a Papal Legate to Ferrara. These paintings have a stark naturalist Caravaggesque style, although it is unlikely that Guercino saw any of the Roman Caravaggios first-hand.


Guercino's early works are often tumultuous. He often claimed that his early style was influenced by a canvas of Ludovico Carracci that he saw in the Capuchin church in Cento. Some of his later works are closer to the style of his contemporary Guido Reni, and are painted with more lightness and clearness. More on Guercino

Michael Dahl, (1659–1743)
Portrait of Martha Langham
Oil on canvas
74 x 62cm
Private collection

Martha Langham4th daughter of Sir John Langham, as a young girl three-quarter length wearing a blue dress with a bowl of cherries and a canary, in a feigned oval. Martha died unmarried. 

Sir John Langham, 1st Baronet (20 April 1584 – 16 May 1671) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1654 and 1660.

He was the eldest son of Edward Langham of Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, who he succeeded in 1607. He was apprenticed to Sir Richard Napier, a Turkey merchant, for whom he worked in the Near East.

On his return he became a Turkey merchant himself,  and made a considerable fortune in the City of London. He built up an estate in Northamptonshire which included the purchase of the Cottesbrooke estate in 1635, (from which this painting comes). He was an alderman and sheriff of London in 1642. He was committed to the Tower of London twice, with the Lord Mayor and other aldermen of London for refusing to publish an act for the abolition of royalty. Langham died at the age of 87.  More on Sir John Langham

An acrimonious dispute within the Langhams,  one of England's oldest families, will lead to the splitting up of their unique £1 million collection of portraits and heirlooms dating back more than five centuries. Generations of family portraits will go under the hammer after Sir John Langham, 44, failed to reconcile his differences with his mother, the dowager Lady Marion Langham, 64, who lives with her French boyfriend in a bungalow on the family estate. More on the dispute

Michael Dahl  (1659–1743), see below

Michael Dahl, (1659–1743)
A portrait of Elizabeth Langham
Oil on canvas
126 x 104cm
Private collection

A portrait of Elizabeth Langham, as a young woman, standing three quarter length on a terrace, a spaniel seated beside her, flowers in an ornamental urn at her shoulder, a wooded landscape beyond. It is thought that the landscape element represents the new landscaping at Cottesbrooke. More on Cottesbrooke

Michael Dahl (Stockholm 1659-1743 London) studied in Sweden under Ehrenstrahl and began travelling in 1682, coming first to London where he may have studied under Kneller, then via Paris on to Rome in 1684. In 1687 he left Rome and came via Frankfurt to London where he settled for good in 1689. He soon became the best patronised portrait painter in England after Kneller. He was employed by Prince George of Denmark and did many portraits of the court of Queen Anne.  A great patron was the Duke of Somerset for whom he painted the famous 'Petworth Beauties'.  After 1714 he lost court patronage but painted a large number of the nobility, the Law and the Church.  His style is very close to that of Kneller and his work is often misattributed to his rival but his interpretation of character tends to be softer and less formal. More on Michael Dahl

Michael Dahl,  (1659–1743)
Portrait of a Lady, c.1700-10
Oil on canvas Oil
Height: 1,260 mm (49.61 in). Width: 1,016 mm (40 in).
Dulwich Picture Gallery, South London

Michael Dahl  (1659–1743), see above

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