Friday, November 24, 2017

07 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #20

John Singer Sargent, 1856 - 1925
A Fellah Woman
Oil on canvas
 22 x 18 in
Private collection

Fellah is a farmer or agricultural laborer in the Middle East and North Africa. The word derives from the Arabic word for "ploughman" or "tiller".

Due to a continuity in beliefs and lifestyle, the fellahin of Egypt have been described as the "true" Egyptians. More on Fallah

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his "Portrait of Madame X", was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent

Elizabeth Gardner Bouguereau, (American, 1837-1922)
La Confidence, ca. 1880
Oil on canvas
68 x 47-1/8 in.
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens

Elizabeth Jane Gardner (October 4, 1837 – January 28, 1922) was an American academic and salon painter, who was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. She was an American expatriate who died in Paris where she had lived most of her life. She studied in Paris under the figurative painter Hugues Merle (1823–1881), the well-known salon painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911), and finally under William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825–1905). After Bouguereau's wife died, Gardner became his paramour and after the death of his mother, who bitterly opposed the union, she married him in 1896. She adopted his subjects, compositions, and even his smooth facture, channeling his style so successfully that some of her work might be mistaken for his.  More on Elizabeth Jane Gardner

 Head of the ptolemaic queen Berenice II (reign between 246–221 BC).
Glyptothek, Munich

Berenice II (267 or 266 BC – 221 BC) was a ruling queen of Cyrene by birth, and a queen and co-regent of Egypt by marriage to her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes, the third ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.

In approximately 249 BC, her father died, making Berenice ruling queen of Cyrene. Soon after Berenice was married to Demetrius the Fair, a Macedonian prince.

After Demetrius came to Cyrene, he became the lover of her mother, Apama. In a dramatic event, Bernice had him killed in Apama's bedroom. Berenice stood at the door and instructed the hired assassins not to hurt her mother while she attempted to protect her mother's lover. 

Berenice is said to have participated in the Nemean Games and the Olympic games at some unknown date. She had a strong equestrian background and was accustomed to fighting from horseback. When Berenice's father Magas, king of Cyrene in modern day Libya, and his troops were routed in battle, Berenice mounted a horse, rallied the remaining forces, killed many of the enemy, and drove the rest to retreat.

After the death of Demetrius, Berenice married Ptolemy III,  the third king of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt..

Bernardo Strozzi,  (1581–1644)
Berenice, before 1644
Oil on canvas
86.5 × 71 cm (34.1 × 28 in)
Private collection

Berenice II, Queen of Egypt, when she cut off her long hair to dedicate it to the goddess Aphrodite in order to ensure the safe return of her husband, Ptolemy III.

Bernardo Strozzi, named il Cappuccino and il Prete Genovese (c. 1581 – 2 August 1644) was an Italian Baroque painter and engraver. A canvas and fresco artist, his wide subject range included history, allegorical, genre and portrait paintings as well as still lifes. Born and initially mainly active in Genoa, he worked in Venice in the latter part of his career. His work exercised considerable influence on artistic developments in both cities. He is considered a principal founder of the Venetian Baroque style. His powerful art stands out by its rich and glowing colour and broad, energetic brushstrokes. More on Bernardo Strozzi

Bernardo Strozzi, (1581–1644)
Berenice, c. 1640
Oil on canvas
El Paso Museum of Art

During her second husband's absence on an expedition to Syria, she dedicated locks of her hair to Aphrodite for his safe return and victory in the Third Syrian War, and placed the offering in the temple of the goddess at Zephyrium, on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey . By some unknown means, the hair offering disappeared when Ptolemy returned to Egypt, Conon of Samos explained the phenomenon in courtly phrase, by saying that it had been carried to the heavens and placed among the stars. The name Coma Berenices or Berenice's hair, applied to a constellation, commemorates this incident. This made the locks of Berenice the only war trophy in Greco-Roman sky.


The city of Euesperides was refounded by her and received her name, Berenice (near the location of Benghazi). The asteroid 653 Berenike, discovered in 1907, also is named after Queen Berenice. More on queen Berenice II

Andrew Geddes, ARA (British, 1783-1844)
Portrait of a Lady, reputed to be Charlotte Nasymth 
Oil on canvas

72 x 60 cm. (28 3/8 x 23 5/8 in.)
Private collection


Charlotte Nasmyth (British painter) 1804 - 1884 was a member of a large and gifted family, Charlotte was the sixth daughter of the landscape painter Alexander Nasmyth. All the girls were talented artists, trained to draw and paint by their father so that they could run art classes from their Edinburgh home and eventually support themselves independently. Charlotte painted romantic landscapes which were widely exhibited. More on Charlotte Nasymth

Andrew Geddes ARA (5 April 1783 – 5 May 1844) was a Scottish portrait painter and etcher.

Geddes was born in Edinburgh. After receiving a good education in the high school and in the University of Edinburgh, he was for five years in the excise office, in which his father held the post of deputy auditor.

After the death of his father, who had opposed his desire to become an artist, he went to London and entered the Royal Academy schools. His first contribution to the exhibitions of the Royal Academy, a St John in the Wilderness, appeared at Somerset House in 1806, and from that year onwards Geddes was a fairly constant exhibitor of figure-subjects and portraits. He alternated for some years between London and Edinburgh, with some excursions on the Continent, but in 1831 settled in London, and was elected associate of the Royal Academy in 1832; and he died in London of tuberculosis in 1844. More on Andrew Geddes 



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