Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Woman in Black film - Daniel Radcliffe

Not an email I get every day - Daniel Radcliffe
"Hey guys,

We're currently working on the new Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) film THE WOMAN IN BLACK. Very quickly, the film is about a young Victorian era lawyer (Radcliffe) who travels to a remote village inn to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman who is terrorizing the locals.

Given its relevant storyline and themes, we feel this could be an ideal subject matter for your readers and would love for you to cover the film in some way.

Definitely check out the trailer below (http://youtu.be/YJoA6n120Sc) if you get a chance. Any mentions or posts of the spot in addition to the poster, stills and/or clips (below) would be greatly appreciated as well.




THE WOMAN IN BLACK opens in theaters February 3rd, 2012!


Official site: http://womaninblack.com/

Minehead about1930

Charles Wynne Nicholls - "What are the wild waves saying?" Florence and Paul Dombey from Dombey & Son, by Charles Dickens

Price Realized

signed 'C.W. Nicholls.' (lower right), and further inscribed "What are the wild waves saying?" Florence & Paul Dombey from Dombey & Son' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
22 x 31 in. (55.8 x 78.7 cm.)

Henry Meynell Rheam - Study of a girl in the artist's studio standing before a tapestry

Price Realized

signed and dated 'Henry M Rheam/1910' (lower left)
pencil and watercolour with scratching out, on paper
47 7/8 x 28 in. (121.6 x 71.1 cm.)

Although Rheam was part of the artistic community based in Newlyn, Cornwall, his subject matter and style frequently strayed dramatically away from the more naturalistic work of his peers. The present watercolour is an example of his work following contemporaries such as Henry Scott Tuke, Laura Knight and Stanhope Forbes who followed a bold, 'square brush' oil technique depicting emotive subjects based on local life in the Cornish fishing community. Many of his works, however, follow the ideas of the Pre-Raphaelites, employing a meticulous use of watercolour illustrating literary and imaginary subjects. Other exponents of fantasy and symbolism, also based in Newlyn, were Thomas Cooper Gotch, who moved to the area in 1887, and the wife of Stanhope Forbes, Elizabeth, who executed a series of Arthurian watercolours for her publication King Arthur's Wood (1904). The model may have been Rheam's wife, Alice Elliot, who appears in many of his works.

Philip Alexius de Laszlo - Mrs Philip de László, née Lucy Guinness

Price Realized

inscribed 'To Connely from Phillip [sic] 1901 Burton Hall'
oil on board
24 x 19 in. (48 x 61 cm.)
Painted in 1901.

Lucy Madeline Guinness (1870-1950) was the eleventh of the twelve children of Henry Guinness of Burton Hall, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, and his wife Emelina Brown. Having met Philip de László in 1892, it was not until his fame and wealth were solidly established that he was finally granted her hand in marriage in Stillorgan Church, on 7 June 1900.

This intimate portrait of Lucy was painted the following year, when the couple made a visit to the family home in Ireland after the birth of their first son, Henry, in June 1901.
'Connely', the dedicatee of this portrait, was the nickname of Lucy's younger sister, Constance.

We are grateful to Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons for writing this catalogue entry, which is included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné online (www.delaszlocatalogueraisonne.com)

The Hon. Mrs de Laszlo and a team of editors are compiling the ,
catalogue raisonné of the artist's work. Caroline Corbeau-Parsons is the British and French Editor, and Matt Davies the American Editor. Please see www.delaszloarchivetrust.com or contact catalogue@delaszlo.com for more information

Philip Alexius de Laszlo - Mrs George Whitney, née Martha Beatrix Bacon 1926

Price Realized

inscribed, signed and dated: 'first study/of Mrs Whitney 1926 de László' (middle right)
oil on canvas
38¼ x 29¾ in. (97.1 x 75.6 cm.)

This is de László's first attempt at painting Martha Bacon Whitney, whose finished portrait, completed in February of the same year, remains untraced. The artist was already acquainted with her family, having painted the study-portrait of her father, Colonel Robert Bacon, in 1910, when the latter was serving as the United States Ambassador to France. At that time, Bacon was hoping de László could also paint his daughter, but the artist only had two days to spare in Paris, and aside from painting Bacon's study-portrait, the priority assigned to de László was to produce the likeness of Theodore Roosevelt, who had recently left office, and was staying at the Embassy during his post-term European tour.1 Nevertheless, Bacon was still keen for him to paint Martha. On 19 October 1910, he asked him when the commission would be carried out,2 and again, the following month, he reiterated: 'I hope that some day we shall find time for you to paint my daughter.'3 De László did, but not in Robert Bacon's lifetime.4

It was during his third trip to America that de László painted Martha, by that time married to George Whitney. De László arrived in New York on board the Aquitania on 16 October 1925, and did not leave until April 1926, the demand for his portraiture being so great. He painted Martha Bacon Whitney in February 1926, around the same time as her sister-in-law, the widow of Elliott Cowdin Bacon, née Hope Norman.

In its unfinished state, the present portrait highlights de László's alla prima technique, painting wet-on-wet onto the canvas, and, as he liked to describe it, 'drawing with the brush'. His method conveyed freshness to his style, and relied on an ability to paint at speed. If he was not entirely pleased with a portrait, he did not labour on it, but simply discarded it to start afresh on a new canvas. In this instance however, he signed this first version, which would suggest that he was not necessarily completely dissatisfied, but preferred to explore a different composition. Indeed, in the final version, he portrayed Mrs Whitney on a chair, looking full face to the viewer.

Martha Beatrix Bacon was born in 1890, the only daughter of the four children of Colonel Robert Bacon and Martha Waldron Cowdin. Both her parents had ancestors among early settlers: in Massachusetts on her father's side, whilst her mother had roots in New York. Martha was educated at St. Timothy's School, Stevenson, Maryland. On 10 May 1911, when her father was Ambassador to France (1910-1912), she was presented at Court to King George and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace. On 2 June 1914, she married George Whitney (1885-1963), son of George and Elizabeth Whitney of Boston, at the Church of the Advent, Westbury, Long Island. The following year George joined the firm of J. P. Morgan & Co., from which he retired as chairman of the board in 1955. Around 1915, the couple built a house, "Home Acres", designed by Delano and Aldrich, on her father's estate, "Old Acres", Westbury, Long Island, New York. They also owned a townhouse in New York: East 74th St South Side. George and Martha Whitney had four children: George Jr. (born c. 1915), Robert (born 1917), Martha Phyllis (born 1918), and Elizabeth (born 1921). Martha Whitney was particularly active in the New York Public Library, the Speedwell Society, the English-Speaking Union, Planned Parenthood, the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association and the Nassau Hospital, Mineola. She died in that hospital on 16 October 1967.

Biographical sources: The New York Times, 11 May, 1911; 3 June 1914; 23 July 1963; 16 October 1967

We are grateful to Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons and Matt Davies for writing this catalogue entry, which is included in the Philip de László catalogue raisonné online (www.delaszlocatalogueraisonne.com)

The Hon. Mrs de Laszlo and a team of editors are compiling the catalogue raisonn of the artist's work. Caroline Corbeau-Parsons is the British and French Editor, and Matt Davies the American Editor. Please see www.delaszloarchivetrust.com or contact catalogue@delaszlo.com for more information.

1 This portrait was bequeathed by the Bacon family to the White House in 1971.
2 DLA053-0018, op. cit.
3 DLA053-0017, op. cit.
4 He died in 1919.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Minehead 1933

Philip Alexius de Laszlo - Portrait of Doña María Mercedes de Alvear

Price Realized

signed, inscribed and dated 'de László Paris 1921 XII' (lower left)
oil on canvas
48 x 36 in. (122 x 91.5 cm.)

In his lifetime, Hungarian-born Philip de László was recognised as one of the most important portrait painters of his generation. His oeuvre is currently undergoing a reassessment, and he is being appreciated again as one of the last proponents of the grand manner tradition. A display has recently been dedicated to him at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and some of his portraits have featured in exhibitions at Tate Britain (Van Dyck, 2009), and the Royal Academy of Arts ( Treasures from Budapest, 2010).

The present portrait was commissioned by Mercedes de Alvear's parents, to hang in their palatial home a few miles out of Buenos Aires, close to the estuary of Río de la Plata. When Princess Marie Louise visited Argentina in 1930, she was shown their residence and her admiration for de László's portrait was such that Sir John Millington-Drake,1 then Chargé d'Affaires at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, wrote to the artist to convey her deep impression to him. He added: 'May I say how very much I also admired it, having know its subject well. Fernando Alvear, the younger son whom I also knew well in those days told us that it was one of your own favourite portraits It is certainly a wonderful and inspiring likeness of a girl of classic countenance and exceptional distinction'.2

De László completed Mercedes de Alvear's portrait in December 1921 in Paris, during a period of intense work. As his wife Lucy noted in her diary, 'from Friday the 18th Nov: when P. arrived in Paris till yes[ter]day morning the 19th Dec. P. painted 8 pictures - ! 4 big canvases [including] Melle Alvear'.3 He painted most of his American and South American sitters in the French capital: it is significant that during his 1921 stay, three of the large canvases mentioned by Lucy de László were of Argentinians.4

De László kept a studio in Paris at 31 rue Jean Goujon, but he also regularly painted in the duc de Guiche's hótel particulier at 42 bis Avenue Henri Martin. Armand de Guiche (later 12th Duc de Gramont), was one of his closest friends, and an artist himself. It is likely that de László used his studio in the winter of 1921, as Lucy recorded that Guiche organised a private exhibition of her husband's new portraits at his home on Monday 19th December. She described the event as a 'thundering success',5 to which 130 people came.

De László, wishing to show Mercedes's portrait to a wider public, wrote to her father in May 1924, asking if he could have it on display at a small exhibition to be held at the Franz von Riel Salon in London. It would have been particularly appropriate, as the show was instigated by a cousin of Mercedes, as explained in The Studio:6 'On the initiative of the art-loving wife of H.E. the President of the Republic, Doña Regina Pacini de Alvear,7 there has been opened, for charitable purposes, an exhibition of portraiture by contemporary masters which has many interesting features. Argentine families do not, as a rule, lend their pictures for public show, but the social success of the innovation has only been equalled by the artistic curiosity to see how men like László, Shannon, Dagnan-Bouveret, and Renoir, interpreted the Argentine grande dame. There were half-a-dozen László's on the walls...'

However, Carlos Maria de Alvear replied that he could not lend the portrait of his daughter and expressed his surprise that de László had not requested it before for an earlier exhibition at Knoedler's in Paris 1922. He wrote: '...its absence, I assure you, astonished many people who considered this portrait, as you have yourself just admitted it in your letter, as one of your most beautiful masterpieces',8 suggesting that he took offence to that omission.

María de las Mercedes de Alvear y Elortondo was born in Buenos Aires on 25 March 1896, the youngest of nine children of Carlos Mara de Alvear y Fernández Coronel (1850-1928) and Mercedes Elortondo Armstrong (1859-1940). She was named after her elder sister, María Mercedes, who had died in 1893, aged seven. The sitter's father was grandson of the famous Argentinian General Carlos María de Alvear,9 military hero of the Spanish American War of Independence and victor of the Battle of Ituzaingó in 1810. He was also first cousin of Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear,10 President of Argentina from 1922 to 1928. Carlos Mara de Alvear was a wealthy Argentinian farmer with vast extensions of land in the provinces of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe. As for Mercedes Elortondo, she was a member of a well-known aristocratic family from Buenos Aires but she grew up mostly in Paris where many Argentinians used to spend the winter.

In 1911 the sitter's father visited the International Fair in Paris with his two brothers-in-law, of the Errázuriz and Bosch families, and the three of them engaged the famous French architect, Réne Sargent11 to design substantial family residences in Buenos Aires for them: the Palacio Errázuriz is now the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Palacio Bosch is the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires and the Alvear Palace, called Sans Souci, the largest of them all and taking four years to build, was opened with great celebration in 1918.12

We are grateful to the Philip de László catalogue raisonné team for writing this catalogue entry, and to Ignacio Solveyra for his help with the biography. This portrait is to be included in the de László catalogue raisonné online (www.delaszlocatalogueraisonne.com). Please see www.delaszloarchivetrust.com or contact catalogue@delaszlo.com for more information.

1 Whose wife Effie was painted by de László in 1920
2 DLA019-0041, op. cit.
3 Laszlo, Lucy de, 1921 diary, private collection, 20 December entry, pp. 381-382
4 De László also painted a full-length of Senorita Mercedes Santamarina, and a three-quarter length portrait of Mara Gastaga de Santamarina, The other paintings he executed were of Belgian and French sitters.
5 László, Lucy de , 1921 diary, op. cit., 20 December entry, p. 380
6 The Studio, Vol. 88 (1924), p. 234 and 237
7 Wife of Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, President of Argentina (1922-28)
8 DLA 050-0055
9 General Carlos Maria de Alvear, the sitter's great grandfather (1789-1853)
10 Marcelo Torcuato Alvear (1868-1942)
11 Ren Sargent (1865-1927)
12 The SANS SOUCI represented the Presidential Palace in the 1996 Hollywood film adaptation of the musical, Evita. In fact, neither President Perron nor his wife, Eva ever visited the palace, which was bought by the Durini family in 1964.

Louise Rayner - Castle Street, Salisbury

Price Realized

signed 'Louise Rayner' (lower right) and with inscription 'Castle Street/Salisbury/Louise Rayner' (on the reverse of the backboard)
pencil and watercolour with gum arabic heightened with touches of bodycolour, on paper
15½ x 23½ in. (39.4 x 59.7 cm.)

Lousie Rayner specialised in depicting the old streets and alleys of British towns. Her watercolours create a vivid portrait of metropolitan life with ordinary citizens going about their everyday business. In the 1870s and 80s, Rayner spent a couple of months each summer in different British towns and cities. It was during this period that Rayner visited Salisbury and painted the current watercolour of Castle Street, a main thoroughfare for travellers going to and from the north of Salisbury.

A similar view of Castle Street by Rayner, which sold in these Rooms, 4 November 1994, lot 16, is now in the collection of Salisbury Museum.

Sidney Richard Percy - Fording the River Mawddach, Cader Idris, North Wales

Price Realized

signed and dated 'S. R. Percy 1883' (lower left) and inscribed 'Cader Idris, North Wales/S.R. Percy ... Sutton, Surrey' (on an old label attached to the reverse)
oil on canvas
24 x 38 in. (61 x 96.5 cm.)

Sidney Richard Percy - The Majesty of Earth and Sky

Price Realized

signed and dated 'S. R. Percy 1872' (lower right)
oil on canvas
24 x 40 in. (61 x 101.6 cm.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Merionethshire, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Valley of Ffestiniog from Terrace Plas in the 1890's

James Sant - Portrait of a young girl, half-length, in a white muslin dress with a red sash, holding a dove

Price Realized

signed 'J. Sant' (lower right)
oil on canvas, painted oval
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)

Alfred Fowler Patten - The Child and the Star

Price Realized

signed and dated 'A. F. Patten/1882' (lower right) and further signed and inscribed 'A.F. Patten/7 Albany Villas/West Brighton/W.2. The Child and the Star/Twinkle twinkle little star/How I wonder what you are!' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm.)

Louis Monro Grier - St Ives, low tide

Price Realized

signed 'LOUIS-MONRO-GRIER' (lower right)
oil on canvas
20 x 27 in. (50.8 x 68.6 cm.)

George Vicat Cole - Lannacombe Bay, Start Point in the distance

Price Realized

signed with monogram (lower right)
oil on board
15¾ x 24 in. (40 x 61 cm.)