Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dudie Baird, Model

Julia "Dudie" Baird (1872-1932) was a leading artists' model in the 1890s and probably for a while longer. This according to several sources I found on the internet. What is lacking is biographical information about her as well as a comprehensive listing of artworks for which she posed.

Her most famous image is that of the body of the statue of the goddess Diana by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. A biographical snippet related to that is here.

As this link mentions, she posed for Thomas Wilmer Dewing. She also posed once for Dennis Miller Bunker.

If readers know of other paintings or sculptures based on Dudie, please let us know in a comment.


Diana as seen in the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Portrait in Blue - 1896
This and all but one of the paintings below are by Dewing.

Julia Baird photo

Portrait of a Young Girl - 1888

Portrait of a Lady - 1898

Brocart de Venise - c.1904
Based on facial features, my guess is that this painting and the one above it feature Dudie.

The Mirror - 1890
This was by Dennis Miller Bunker.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jules Adolphe Goupil, Painter of Fabrics

Jules Adolphe Goupil (1839-1883) has little in the way of biographical information on the internet, if my casual Google search was indicative. Two brief links are here and here.

Basically, he trained at the École des Beaux-Arts under Ary Scheffer, exhibited at the Salon early in his career and eventually became a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. At some point in his career Goupil painted scenes related to the French Revolution, but these didn't appear in Google images. What I did find were several images of paintings of pretty young women clothed in elaborate costumes of silky or patterned fabrics. He was good at depicting such materials, which gave him a useful market niche for his works.

As best I can tell, he was not directly connected to the Goupil art dealership firm, if this Wikipedia entry is any guide.

Below are examples of Goupil's paintings featuring fabrics.


An Admiring Glance

At the Easel

Lady with a Figurine

The Village Girl

By the Fireplace


Seated Woman

Thursday, March 23, 2017

More Richard E. Miller Paintings

Richard Edward Miller (1875-1943) painted many pictures of pretty young women in casual settings, often in the American Impressionist style. He often reused the same dresses and other costumes for several paintings over several years, as I posted here. Biographical information on Miller is here.

The present post presents a wider variety of his works made from about 1905 to the early 1940s. Not included are some sketches from around 1900 and a few late Moderne style works (that I'm not yet certain are by him).


Café de la Paix - c.1905

The Chinese Statuette - 1910
More plaid dresses can be found below.

Chinese Statuette - 1919
A recycled pose.

From his days in Giverny, Claude Monet's haunts.

The Green Cage - c.1914

Princess in the Land of Sunshine
This might have been done while he was in Pasadena, California.

Afternoon Thoughts
Her costume can be seen on other paintings.

Woman Seated at Dressing Table - c.1925

Girl sleeping (The Plaid Skirt)
No date for this that I've been able to find, but I think it's a late work due its style.

Young Lady Sewing
The lady's hair style suggests late 1930s or early 1940s.

Young Lady Reading
From around the same time as the previous painting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

André Edouard Marty, Pochoir Illustrator and More

André Edouard Marty (1882-1974) was an École des Beaux-Arts graduate best known for fashion illustration. Two brief biographies are here and here. They both note that Marty was one of four artists whose work appeared every year of the existence of leading fashion journal Gazette du Bon Ton (1912 to 1925).

The Bon Ton featured color illustrations produced by the pochoir (stencil) method. A description is here. Below are examples of Marty's work, some in pochoir, others using more conventional, less tedious methods.


Fashion illustration - 1913

Les ailes dans le vent - 1919

À l'Oasis La Jupe Lumineuse - 1919

Escaped bird

From Gazette du Bon Ton

La porte du salon ouvrit

La douce nuit - Gazette du Bon Ton - March, 1920

Le pouf

Vogue cover - 1 April, 1925

Vogue cover - 12 March, 1926

Vogue cover - Late January, 1926

Vogue cover - Late August, c.1925
The covers shown here are from French, British and American editions of Vogue. Haute couture was and is quite international.

London Underground Poster - 1933
Marty did posters for the Underground for a few years in the early 1930s.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frédéric Bazille's Snuffed-Out Career

Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870) was associated with the French Impressionists during the early stages of the movement. He did not participate in the many later Impressionist showings and activities. That was because he died in battle. Some biographical information about Bazille is here.

His fatal battle was that of Beaune-la-Rolande, fought 28 November 1870. Its site is roughly between Orléans and Montargis, about 50 miles (80 km) to the south of Paris. The French were attempting to relieve the siege of Paris during the late stages of the Franco-Prussian War. Their attack on a much-smaller, but better-trained, Prussian force was a failure. Bazille died while leading a small-unit assault.

His paintings are something of a mixed bag, in my judgment. Much of that has to do with the fact that he didn't begin painting full-time until 1864, though he was taking classes before that, according to the link above. Still, dying at age 28, Bazille was at the point where most artists are still sorting out their craft. There is no way of telling for sure how he would have matured as an artist.

Here is a sampling of his work.


The Pink Dress (cousin Thérèse des Hours) - 1864

The Beach at Saint-Adresse - 1865

The Artist's Family - 1867
One of his best known works.

Auguste Renoir - 1867

View of the Village of Castelnau-le-Lez - 1868

portrait d'un dragon - 1869
This dragoon portrait is more "painterly" than many other Bazille paintings. Might he have pursued this had he lived?

The Fortune Teller - 1869
Here we find simplification and smoother painting: another trial run?

La toilette - 1869-70
Apparently this finished work was an attempt to be accepted in the salon.

Bazille's Studio, 9 rue de la Condamine - 1870
Another well-known work. Scattered composition, distorted perspective -- compare the sizes of the various artists depicted here. Such details might have been considered legitimate in 1350 or 1905, but not when this was painted. A curious effort.

Monday, March 13, 2017

About Blogging

I wrote this for a Facebook posting, and thought I might as well post it here and on my Car Style Crtic blog.

It was almost exactly 12 years ago that I got involved with blogging. Since then I’ve written more than 2000 blog posts.

The first blog for me was the late, lamented (because it was pretty popular) 2Blowhards blog. The guy running it was Ray Sawhill who wrote bylined articles on art and culture for Newsweek magazine in the 1980s and 90s. Ray blogged using the nom-du-blog “Michael Blowhard” in order to maintain separation from his Newsweek day job. The other Blowhard was “Friedrich von Blowhard,” a Princeton buddy of Ray’s based in Los Angeles.

The blogging software they used was primitive by today’s standards — an important defect being that post drafts couldn’t be stockpiled for later publication scheduling. That meant each post had to go live shortly after it was written. That put strain on the bloggers who wanted content flowing at the rate of one or two posts per day in order to keep readers interested and returning to see what was new.

So for some reason Ray pulled me from the commenter ranks to full-time 2Blowhards blogger to ease the load on the original 2. Except that I posted using my actual name.

At first, I was worried that I could maintain a reasonably high rate of posting. I knew I had perhaps a dozen really nice items that I could write up, but after that? You see, I recalled what happened when old vaudeville stars such as Eddie Cantor first appeared in TV “specials.” They used the good stuff that they’d honed over decades on stage, so their first show would be a wowser. After that, in future specials, their material wasn’t nearly as good due to lack of testing.

So I resolved to hold back on my so-called good stuff and write what came to mind each day. And it worked. As far as I recall, I never used up the “good stuff.”

Here’s the deal. Be sure to blog on topics you know something about. Then you must stay alert and notice things related to those subjects that might serve as hooks for posts. It’s even better if you can relate whatever it might be to similar or opposite examples, because that can make for a deeper, more interesting post. Apparently, it’s a special skill set: Ray Sawhill once told me that he thought I was “a natural blogger.”

Eventually, after his Newsweek buyout, Sawhill tired of 2Blowhards and turned it over to me. I carried on for a few months and finally decided to strike out on my own. My first blog, Art Contrarian, debuted in 2010. It is based on the idea that modernism in art was an experiment that largely failed. More interesting work had been done by more traditional painters in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Illustration, architecture and industrial design are other subjects I treat.

I’ve always been interested in automobile styling, so in 2013 I started Car Style Critic blog. I post two articles per week on each blog and maintain a backlog of two or three months’ worth of post drafts. Readership for each blog is several hundred page views daily, which is good enough for me.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Léon Benigni: 'Tween-Wars Fashion Illustrator

Léon Benigni (1892-1948) was one of several fashion-related illustrators whose similar styles helped to visually define the years between the two world wars.

Unfortunately, aside from his dates and the names of many of his clients, there seems to be next to no biographical information about him on the Internet. One example of this paucity is here.

Here are some images of Benigni's work for clients in France and elsewhere.


This seems to be considered his most famous poster design.

Some fashion illustrations, some perhaps for magazine covers.

No signature, by credited to Benigni on the Web.

A 1936 illustration showing a style adjustment to keep up with illustration fashions of the 30s.

From 1935, a minimalist fashion illustration.

Below are four examples of illustrations Benigni made for 1931 Cadillacs and LaSalles. Click on them to enlarge.