13 Paintings, The amorous game, With Footnotes, #3

Johannes Vermeer, (1632–1675)
Officer and Laughing Girl, circa 1657
Oil on canvas
Height: 50.5 cm (19.9 in). Width: 46 cm (18.1 in).
Frick Collection, Manhattan, New York City

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

He was recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, but his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. More Vermeer

Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem and studio
oil on canvas
99.2 x 147.8 cm.; 39 x 58 1/4  in.
Private Collection

This scene of seduction is inspired by an episode recounted by the poet Ovid in Metamorphoses. It shows the bare-breasted nymph Callisto – Diana's favourite – embraced by the god Jupiter in the guise of the goddess herself. In the background looms Jupiter's tell-tale attribute, the eagle, while the crescent moon crowning 'Diana' identifies the imposter. More

Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem (1 October 1620 – 18 February 1683) was a highly esteemed and prolific Dutch Golden Age painter of pastoral landscapes, populated with mythological or biblical figures, but also of a number of allegories and genre pieces.

He was a member of the second generation of "Dutch Italianate landscape" painters. These were artists who travelled to Italy, or aspired to, in order to soak up the romanticism of the country, bringing home sketchbooks full of drawings of classical ruins and pastoral imagery. His paintings, of which he produced an immense number, were in great demand, as were his 80 etchings and 500 drawings. His landscapes, painted in the Italian style of idealized rural scenes, with hills, mountains, cliffs and trees in a golden dawn are sought after. Berchem also painted inspired and attractive human and animal figures in works of other artists, like Allaert van Everdingen, Jan Hackaert, Gerrit Dou, Meindert Hobbema and Willem Schellinks. More Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem

Ludwig Deutsch, 1855-1935, AUSTRIAN
Oil on canvas
177 by 203cm., 69½ by 80in.
Private Collection

Ludwig Deutsch, 1855-1935, was born in Vienna to a well-to-do family. He began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts after completing high school. He studied in the atelier of Alselm Feuerbach along with the painter Rudolf Ernst, his contemporary, who was also an Orientalist and lifelong friend. 

Deutsch decided to move to Paris to continue his studies. Deutsch set up a studio on the Rue Pelletier, and sent a portrait to the Paris Salon in 1879. It was in 1881 that he began painting Orientalist works. He began making paintings that focused on single figures instead of the groups of people that he had been painting before. 

Deutsch traveled to Egypt in 1886 for the first time, resulting in a number of paintings of everyday street scenes. He visited again in 1890, and frequently did so over the next few years. 

Deutsch won the Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1900. His work sold well, with buyers being drawn to his incredible attention to detail. He continued painting through the next decade and a half till the outbreak of the First World War, when he was forced to flee Paris. 

Deutsch became a French citizen in around 1919e. Though he was a studio-painter, his travels in Egypt lent color and atmosphere that rendered his paintings authentic. Deutsch continued living and working in Paris till his death in 1935. More Ludwig Deutsch

Follower of Reverend Matthew William Peters, R.A.
Oil on canvas
65.5 x 54 cm.; 25 3/4  x 21 1/4  in.
Private Collection

Miss Mortimer was the sister of the artist John Hamilton Mortimer, a close friend of Peters' who had studied with him in Hudson's studio. The daughter of Zeus and the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe was a popular subject in art in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, particularly as a female personification in portraiture, and even some of the most aristocratic of models allowed for a degree of nudity, such as the exposing of a single breast. Here Miss Mortimer has allowed herself to be portrayed with both breasts exposed, feeding her father Zeus in the guise of an eagle - a representation of eternal youth. In classical mythology the eagle, like the phoenix, was believed to have the ability to renew itself to a youthful state. More

Matthew William Peters (1742 – 20 March 1814) was an English portrait and genre painter who later became an Anglican clergyman and chaplain to George IV. He became known as "William" when he started signing his works as "W. Peters".

Peters received his artistic training from Robert West in Dublin; in 1756 and 1758 he received prizes from the first School of Design in Dublin. In 1759, he was sent by the Dublin Society to London to become a student of Thomas Hudson and won a premium from the Society of Arts. The group also paid for him to travel to Italy to study art from 1761 to 1765. On 23 September 1762 he was elected to the Accademia del Disegno in Florence. Peters returned to England in 1765 and exhibited works at the Society of Artists from 1766 to 1769. 

Follower of Reverend Matthew William Peters, R.A.
Oil on canvas
642 x 770 mm
Tate Gallery

This provocative painting of a courtesan lying in bed is one of four known versions of a picture made by Matthew Peters for Richard Grosvenor, later 1st Earl Grosvenor (1731-1802). One of these pictures was almost certainly exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1777 as 'A Woman in Bed', the first and last time Peters exhibited such a frankly sexual subject. Contemporary critics appreciated the work, although they were concerned that it was unsuitable for public display. More Lydia

On 27 February 1769, Peters he was made the grand portrait painter of the Freemasons and the first provincial grand master of Lincolnshire in 1792.  Many of Peters' works were erotic and although these works did not damage his career, according to Simon, Peters later regretted these when he became an ordained clergyman in 1781. 

Iuring these years, Peters also painted religious works, including a ten-by-five foot Annunciation for Lincoln Cathedral and The Resurrection of a Pious Family. He also painted five Shakespearean works for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery and six for the Irish Shakespeare Gallery. He charged 80 guineas for painting full-length portraits. More Matthew William Peters

Evariste Carpentier, 1845 - 1922
Oil on canvas laid down on board
27 1/4 x 33 1/4in (69.2 x 84.4cm)
Private Collection

Évariste Carpentier, (1845 in Kuurne - 1922 in Liège), was a Belgian painter of genre scenes and animated landscapes. Over the years, his painting evolved from the academic art to impressionism. He is, alongside Emile Claus, one of the earliest representatives of luminism in Belgium.

Evariste Carpentier was a pupil at the Antwerp Academy. He lived in Paris from 1879 till 1886. The talent and personality of the artist never ceased to develop. After having painted religious subjects and a large number of Vendée scenes, he sought in rustic life and the open air those choice subjects which can only be tackled by artists who have the talent to take on the difficulty of painting the human figure in bright sunshine, in the green countryside, and beneath the ever beautiful, harmonious Flemish sky. Carpentier taught at the Liège Academy and was its director until his death. More Évariste Carpentier

Julius LeBlanc Stewart, AMERICAN, 1855 - 1919
Oil on canvas
152 by 110cm., 60 by 43¾in
Private Collection

Before the Fire was exhibited in 1913 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where some seemed to question the artist’s bold choice of subject, a contrast to his earlier scenes of vibrant contemporary life.  In a review of the exhibition, the Telegraph reported, “This is a glowing picture of a girl unhampered by incidental scenery except a few strands of hair. Her hands are propped under her chin and the picture suggests she has recently come from a bath. There is nothing sinfully alluring in the eyes, the picture is that of innocent well being, but still it is said that objections have been made to this canvas.”  (Telegraph, Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1913). More Before the Fire 

Julius LeBlanc Stewart (September 6, 1855, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — January 5, 1919, Paris, France), was an American artist who spent his career in Paris. A contemporary of fellow expatriate painter John Singer Sargent, Stewart was nicknamed "the Parisian from Philadelphia".

His father, the sugar millionaire William Hood Stewart, moved the family from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Paris in 1865, and became a distinguished art collector and an early patron of Marià Fortuny and the Barbizon artists. Julius studied under Eduardo Zamacois as a teenager, under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts, and later was a pupil of Raymondo de Madrazo.

Stewart's family wealth enabled him to live a lush expatriate life and paint what he pleased, often large-scaled group portraits. 

He exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon from 1878 into the early 20th century, and helped organize the "Americans in Paris" section of the 1894 Salon. 

Late in life, he turned to religious subjects, but Stewart is best remembered for his Belle Époque society portraits and sensuous nudes. More Julius LeBlanc Stewart 

Eduardo Leon Garrido, 1856 - 1949
A pause for discussion
Oil on panel
22 x 16in (55.8 x 40.6cm)
Private Collection

Eduardo Leon Garrido ( Madrid , 1856 - Caen , 1949) was a Spanish painter. He began his training at the School of Painting in Madrid and as a disciple in the workshop of Vicente Palmaroli . Thanks to a grant from the Provincial de Madrid, traveled to Paris where he attended the workshop of Raimundo Madrazo . Later he traveled to Italy , connecting in Venice with Spanish painters of the likes of Mariano Fortuny and Martín Rico . In 1905 he was appointed professor of the School of Arts and Crafts in Varennes , staying in France the rest of his life. 

His style is influenced by impressionism and for some critics is reminiscent of that of Manet . His work is dedicated to traditional themes, portraits of women wearing elegant clothes of the Belle Époque and reproduction of gallant scenes. He achieved great success in his time and exhibited in Paris, London and Munich .

Some of his paintings can be seen in the Museo del Prado (Madrid), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Argentina) , Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and private collections such as the Bellver Collection of Seville. More Eduardo Leon Garrido

Howard Chandler Christy, AMERICAN, 1873 - 1952
Oil on canvas
101.5 by 127cm., 40 by 50in.
Private Collection

James Philip Head, author of the artist’s biography, notes: ‘His Christy Girl became an icon in America. Women wanted to be her. Men wanted to marry her’. Depicting a nudist beach, the present  work shows the Christy Girl in her most flagrant incarnation. Unselfconscious and confident, the nude girls wallow languorously, their gaze engaging viewer in a come-hither moment. Similar nudes, painted in the 1930s, hung in the Café des Artistes, New York. More Christy Girl

Howard Chandler Christy (January 10, 1872 – March 3, 1952) was an American artist and illustrator, famous for the "Christy Girl" -- a colorful and illustrious successor to the "Gibson Girl" -- who became the most popular portrait painter of the Jazz Age era. Christy painted such luminaries as Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, and Presidents Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, and Truman. Other famous people include William Randolph Hearst, the Prince of Wales (Edward the VIII), Eddie Rickenbacker, Benito Mussolini, Prince Umberto, Amelia Earhart. From the 1920s until the 1940s, Christy was well known for capturing the likenesses of congressmen, senators, industrialists, movies stars, and socialites. More Howard Chandler Christy 

Eduardo Leon Garrido, 1856 - 1949
Oriental dancer
Oil on panel
61 × 48.5 cm
Private Collection

Eduardo Leon Garrido ( Madrid , 1856 - Caen , 1949), see above

Théodore Jacques Ralli, 1852-1909, GREEK
Oil on canvas
55 by 47cm., 21½ by 18½in
Private Collection

The present work is one of Ralli's most erotically charged works. Sitting languidly on a throne is a young girl, entirely naked. The incense burning to the left has induced her into a deep sleep, as petals drop to the floor from her open hands. While contemplating this work one cannot disregard the ambiguity of the title and ask oneself what is the offering, whether the flowers, brought to the altar by the young girl, or the girl herself, offering her body to the divinity in a moment of ecstasy. Whatever the meaning, this ambiguity certainly adds a layer of sensuality to this intriguing and beautiful work.  More THE OFFERING

Théodore Jacques Ralli or Theodorus Rallis (Constantinople, 16 February 1852 – 2 October 1909, Lausanne) was a Greek painter, watercolourist and draughtsman, who spent most of his working life in Paris, France and in Egypt.

He painted genre works, portraits, local figures, architectural subjects, interiors with figures and animals. But he is best known for his orientalist paintings.

He was sent to Paris under the patronage of King Otto of Greece and studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouy, both known for their orientalist paintings.

Ralli then travelled widely in North Africa and the Middle East, settling for a while in Cairo, Egypt. Here he found his inspiration for the romantic mysticism and suggestive sensuality of his many orientalistic paintings. His other genre paintings were often nostalgic recollections of the life and customs of his Greek homeland, which he portrayed with a delicate and moving reverence. His paintings were elaborated with great attention to detail, with great attention to costumes and facial expressions.

Rallis first exhibition was at the Salon in 1875. From 1879 he regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français, where he received an honourable mention in 1885, and a silver medal in 1889 for his whole work 

After his death he was slowly almost forgotten. It is telling that his name is not even included in the Grove Dictionary of Art. Most of his paintings are still in private collections. Only a few museums ever purchased his works. More on Théodore Jacques Ralli

FLINT Sir William Russell, 1880-1969 (United Kingdom)
Watercolor on paper
13 5/8 x 24 1/2in (34.8 x 62.2cm)
Private Collection

Sir William Russell Flint (4 April 1880 – 30 December 1969) was a Scottish artist and illustrator who was known especially for his watercolour paintings of women. He also worked in oils, tempera, and printmaking. He was born in Edinburgh then educated at Daniel Stewart's College and Edinburgh Institution. From 1894 to 1900 Flint apprenticed as a lithographic draughtsman while taking classes at the Royal Institute of Art, Edinburgh. From 1900 to 1902 he worked as a medical illustrator in London while studying part-time at Heatherley's Art School. He furthered his art education by studying independently at the British Museum. 

Flint was elected president of Britain’s Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours (now the Royal Watercolour Society) in 1936 to 1956, and knighted in 1947. More on Sir William Russell Flint

Jack Vettriano, O.B.E., BRITISH, B.1951
Oil on canvas
38 by 30.5cm., 15 by 12in.
Private Collection

Jack Vettriano, otherwise known as Jack Hoggan, was born on 17. of November 1951 in Methil, Fife, Scotland. His parents are of Italian origin. Jack Vettriano has been working for the last two decades as a very successful painter. The style of Vettriano’s art is often described as sentimental, mysterious, and often melancholic.

Jack Vettriano’s birth name is Jack Hoggan. He grew up in the industrial coastal city of Mehil. Vettriano left school when he was 16 years old, to work in the local coal mine. His goal was to becoming a mining engineer.

Vettriano’s first painting was a copy of Monet’s poppy fields – still signed with the name Jack Hoggan. In 1988, Jack changed his name to Jack Vettriano, by adopting his mothers maiden name. Jack exhibited two of his paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy. The submission of his paintings aroused public interest in his work, and Jack soon secured enough income to devote himself fully to being an artist.

Vettriano’s most acclaimed and best-selling work is The Singing Butler. Interestingly, it was dismissed by the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1992. However, sold at auction twelve years later for £ 744,500.00.

Today, Jack Vettriano, works in his studios in London and Kirkcaldy, Scotland. More Jack Vettriano,

Circle of Léon François Comerre, (French 1850-1916)
Oil on canvas 
81 x 54.5cm (31 7/8 x 21 7/16in).
Private Collection

Léon François Comerre (10 October 1850 – 20 February 1916) was a French academic painter, famous for his portraits of beautiful women. Comerre was born in Trélon, in the Département du Nord, the son of a schoolteacher. He moved to Lille with his family in 1853. From an early age he showed an interest in art and became a student of Alphonse Colas at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille, winning a gold medal in 1867. From 1868 a grant from the Département du Nord allowed him to continue his studies in Paris at the famous École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Alexandre Cabanel. There he came under the influence of orientalism.

Comerre first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1871 and went on to win prizes in 1875 and 1881. In 1875 he won the Grand Prix de Rome. This led to a scholarship at the French Academy in Rome from January 1876 to December 1879. In 1885 he won a prize at the "Exposition Universelle" in Antwerp. He also won prestigious art prizes in the USA (1876) and Australia (1881 and 1897). He became a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1903. More Léon François Comerre

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