La Baigneuse Georges D'Espagnat

£16,950.00

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Country of origin: France

Medium: Oil on canvas

Signed: Signed lower left

Dated: 1920

Condition: Very good original condition

Size: 64.00" x 33.00" (162.6cm x 83.8cm)

Framed size: 66.00" x 35.00" (167.6cm x 88.9cm)

Provenance: Estate of Louis & Annette Kaufman.

Louis Kaufman (1905-1994) was a Romanian / American Violinist, and possibly the most recorded musical artist of the 20th century. Kaufman, was the most sought-after violinist in Hollywood during 1930's to the 1950's, and performed on the soundtrack of as many as 500 movies, including Casablanca & Spartacus, and other Oscar-winning films.

Kaufman was largely responsible for bringing the once-forgotten music of Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) to its current popularity worldwide. In 1947, Kaufman made the first commercial recording of a then little-known collection of violin concertos by Vivaldi called "The Four Seasons." This recording won the Grand Prix du Disque in 1951 and was elected to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Over the course of their life together, the Kaufmans built a major collection of impressionist and modern art, most of which was donated to the National Gallery of Art and Syracuse University.

They developed many friendships with artists in Europe and the United States. Kaufman was the first person to buy an oil painting from American abstract expressionist Milton Avery, and he urged other collectors to follow suit. During their many stays in Paris during the 1950's & 60's the Kaufman's collected art of the avant garde artists active in that era. This painting was likely purchased during that time.

Artist biography

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From the beginning of his career it was a constant concern of Georges d'Espagne to assert his originality. His studies at the École des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, did not last very long, for he wanted immediate independence and decided to follow courses in the private academies of Montparnasse. In about 1900, he became acquainted with Maurice Denis, Bonnard and Vuillard, and his collaboration with Denis led to a renewal of religious art in France.   In 1903, d'Espagne was one of the founders of the Salon d'Automne, and was appointed professor in charge of studios at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1934. He illustrated a number of books: Rémy de Gourmont's Evil Prayers ( Oraisons mauvaises) (1896), The Saints of Paradise ( Les Saintes du paradis) (1898), Simone (1907), Sistine ( Sixtine) (1922); Alphonse Daudet's The Immortal ( L'Immortel) (1930); André Gide's The Pastoral Symphony ( La Symphonie pastorale); Francis Jammes' Clearings in the Sky ( Chairières dans le ciel) (1948).   D'Espagne belongs to the group of artists who made the Courrier Français so successful. The drawings of his which are published in it are strongly expressive and some bear comparison with the designs of the great Renaissance masters. He also contributed to L'Image. He often placed cheerful nudes in a landscape, reminding us that, though he moved away from the Fauves, he retained their freedom of colour and arabesque. He painted many portraits, including those of Albert André, André Barbier, Victor Boucher, Déodat de Séverac, Albert Marque, André Marty and Albert Roussel. He also painted mural decorations, including a wall for the Palais de la Découverte (1937), the ceiling of the Victor Hugo Room in the Palais du Luxembourg (1939), a decorative panel for the Palais de Justice, Toulouse (1941) and interior decorations for private houses. His landscapes are Impressionist in inspiration, and work for a certain sobriety, an intimacy, both in their composition - one, two or three sketched figures and large open spaces - and in the choice of colours and treatment with the special hazy brushstroke that marks his style.   D'Espagne took part in a number of annual Parisian exhibitions, including the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, the Salon d'Automne (from 1903 to 1949, except in special circumstances), the Salon de la Libre Ésthétique, Brussels (1899, 1901), the Berlin Secessionists (1940). He also exhibited at the first Salon de la Société de la Gravure sur Bois. Among other exhibitions were 1912, A Century of French Art ( Centenaire de l'art français), St Petersburg; 1916, Kunstverein, Winterthur; 1918, 1926, Galerie M. Bertheim, Paris; 1930, Contemporary French Art ( Art français contemporain), Tokyo. Among posthumous exhibitions have been 2001, Women in Provence and the Mediterranean ( La Femme en Provence et en Méditerranée), and Fondation Regards de Provence, Château de Borély, Marseilles.   Solo exhibitions of d'Espagne's work were held in 1898, 1900, 1903, 1906, 1908, 1911, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris; 1902, Galerie Durand-Ruel, New York; 1922, 1923, 1926, Galerie Druet, Paris; 1944, Galerie Sagot-le-Garrec and M. Cordier. Among retropectives and posthumous exhibitions have been 1951, tribute exhibition at the Salon d'Automne, Paris; 1987, Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle, Alençon; 1996, Musée de Marly-le-Roi, Louveciennes; 2001, Espace St-Jean, Melun. Museum and Gallery Holdings   Albi (Mus. Toulouse-Lautrec) Bagnols-sur-Cèze (Mus. Albert-André) Boston (MFA) Brussels (Mus. royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique) Céret (Mus. municipal d'Art moderne) Chicago (AI) Douai (Mus. de la Chartreuse) Geneva (Petit Palais) Indianapolis (MA): A Tea Party; The Peaceful Day Le Havre (Mus. Malraux) Metz (La Cour D'or) Moscow (Pushkin MFA) Nancy (MBA) Nantes (MBA): Nude Dressing New York (Metropolitan Mus. of Art) Nice (MAH) Nice (MBA Jules-Chéret) Paris (Bibliothèque-Mus. de l'Opéra) Paris (MAM): Women Bathing Paris (Mus. d'Orsay) Rouen (MBA) Santa Barbara (MA): Banks of the Seine, near the Bridge of Meulan (no date, oil on canvas) Sète (Mus. Paul Valéry) St-Étienne (Mus. d'Art et d'Industrie) St-Tropez (Mus. de l'Annonciade) Tokyo (National Mus. of Western Art) Toledo (MA)