Lot #036

Unknown Artist

19th Century
oil on canvas
44” x 36” (112 cm x 91 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 200,000
Provenance Acquired in Europe in the 19th Century
This is a delicately charming picture, the subject: a tribute to the beauty of a woman of European period fashion.
The delicate face, with its gentle eyes dominates the picture, despite the richness of the blue details of the dress. The contrasting surfaces of fabric and female flesh clearly delineated, provide the picture with wonderfully tactile textures.
The gleaming shoulder area going to the deep neckline is wondrously exquisitely tinted, forming a mellow area of light in the center, while the fabric details of the elaborate sleeves form darker masses on either side of the woman.
Yet unlike the post Baroque tradition of depicting women as soft-bodied, passive, and highly sexualized beings, the unknown artist emphasizes the female concepts of physical beauty, desire and virtue. Discreetly sensuous but never either lascivious or banal.
She can be any of several classic female archetypes like the virgin, consort, wife, widow, and diplomatic regent: an extraordinary depiction of a European woman of period fashion by any standard.