L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One portrait - "Portrait of a Young Chinese Girl", by David Jagger, 1936

I find this painting of an unknown young woman quite astonishingly beautiful. The perfect shape of her rouged lips, the arching penciled brows, her hair sleekly bobbed in the style made iconic by Louise Brooks. And then her sheer physical beauty: the refined and elegant bone structure, the softness of her skin, the depth of her gaze. The simplicity and directness of the pose - and the tension in the line of her brow - are elements that help give the portrait such power. But more than anything else, the ravishing color.


David Jagger, RP, ROI (1891, Kilnhurst, near Rotherham, Yorkshire – 1958), English portrait painter. The son of a colliery manager, his elder sister Edith went on to become a landscape artist, and his younger brother Charles, an important sculptor. All three attended the Sheffield School of Art and, after his education, he became a leading member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (R.O.I.), and exhibited regularly at The Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists (R.B.A.) and the R.O.I. In 1940, Jagger exhibited together with his sister and brother (posthumously) in a special exhibition at the Rotherham Art Gallery and Museum, under the title The art of the Jagger Family. He portrayed many famous people, including Queen Mary, Winston Churchill, and Vivien Leigh, and is probably best remembered for his much-reproduced portrait of the Boy Scouts' founder Robert Baden-Powell. 

The artist, a model, and a selection of the artist's work; the present painting is in the background. (With Jagger's reflection upon it.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Toujours les hommes

Captain Winfield Burrows Sifton, by Philip de László, 1916.
"Su Majestad el Rey Don Alfonso XIII Contemplando Madrid", circa 1920s.
Rudolph Valentino, circa 1921.
Thomas Taylour, Viscount Headford, later Earl of Bective and 1st Marquess of Headfort, by Pompeo Batoni, 1782.
Memorial card, 1912.
"A Kornilovite" [WWI/Russian Revolution era soldier], by Saida Afonina, 1994.
Soldier, by Giovanni Battista Moroni, circa 1560.
Portrait of Kahn, by Alexander Golovin, 1920.
Unknown, circa late nineteenth-early twentieth century.
Ardalion Petrovich Novosiltsev, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, by Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky, 1807.
Man with the Cat [Henry Sturgis Drinker], by Cecilia Beaux, 1898.
Actor Martin Harvey in period costume, 1899. (Two images.)
Amaury-François-Guillaume, marquis de la Moussaye, vicomte de Saint-Quetas, Saint-Denoual, etc., by Jean Joseph Vaudechamp, 1830.
Portrait of a Man in Armor, by Paris Bordone, circa  1535-40.
Unknown, courtesy of Ralf De Jonge "Os Jovens Phidias".
Captain Peter Rainier (in India at the age of twenty-one), by Thomas Hickey, 1806.
"Man of science", unknown artist - the damaged signature reads "M[ ]anz", 1839.
William Kissam Vanderbilt Jr. at the age of twenty-four, 1902.
Wilhelm Kettler, Duke of Courland and Semigallia, by Joachim Zivert (?), 1615.
Karl Bernhard, prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, by Rudolf Friedrich Carl Suhrlandt, 1812.
Vaslav Nijinsky, circa 1913.
Portrait of a Bavarian man, by Anton Ažbe, 1889.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Weirdness in a lady's bed

Mareridtscene (nightmare scene), by Ditlev Blunck, 1846.
The Nightmare, by John Henry Fuseli (Johann Heinrich Füssli), 1781.
Sleeping Venus with Cupido, by Godfried Schalcken, before 1685.
The Nightmare, by John Henry Fuseli (Johann Heinrich Füssli), 1790-91. A variation on the painting of 1781.
Danaë and the Shower of Gold, by Adolf Ulrik Wertmüller, 1787.
Title unknown, by Richard Tennant Cooper, circa first quarter of the twentieth century.
Though the title is unknown, going by the artist's other work, this is most likely a "lesson" on venereal disease.
La liseuse de romans (The reader of novels), by Antoine Wiertz, 1853.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ten years hence - two portraits by de László - and three more

At the age of twenty-five, 1923.

The Honorable Esmond Cecil Harmsworth, later 2nd Viscount Rothermere (29 May 1898 – 12 July 1978), British Conservative politician and press magnate. The son of Harold Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, who had founded the Daily Mail in partnership with his brother Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, he was educated at Eton and commissioned into the Royal Marine Artillery in World War I. His two older brothers were both killed in action. In 1919, he was elected as a Unionist Member of Parliament, at twenty-one one of the youngest MPs ever. He served there until 1929. By the 1930s, with his father preoccupied with his support of appeasement for Nazi Germany, the son had taken over management of the family businesses; his stewardship was deployed with sufficient skill that, today, they still remain under family control. He succeeded to the viscountcy in 1940, was married three times and had four children. He died at the age of eighty, and was succeeded by his son from his first marriage.

At the age of thirty-five, 1933.


His eldest brother, Captain Hon. Harold Alfred Vyvyan St. George Harmsworth (2 August 1894 - 12 February 1918), 1916.
The middle brother, Lieutenant Hon. Vere Sidney Tudor Harmsworth (25 September 1895 - 13 November 1916), 1916.
His son, Vere Harold Esmond Harmsworth, later 3rd Viscount Rothermere (27 April 1925 - 1 September 1998), 1933.