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    Description

    FREDERICK WARREN FREER (American, 1849-1908)
    Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Margaret Cecilia Keenan, circa 1886-7
    Oil on canvas
    21-1/2 x 17-1/4 inches (54.6 x 43.8 cm)
    Signed lower left: Frederick W. Freer

    THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST

    EXHIBITED:
    Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C., "Highlights and Footnotes of American Art from the Collection of Graham Williford," January 22-March 15, 1991, no. 18.

    Art historian Mary Anne Goley has noted that this painting depicts the artist's wife in the same dress and fan as in Portrait of a Lady in Black (circa 1886-7), which was exhibited as no. 46 in "The Quest for Unity, American Art between World's Fairs 1876-1893" in Detroit, Michigan,1983.

    Freer's portraits of women for which he was best known, range from straightforward character studies to idealized celebrations of female beauty. Though his wife was his most frequent model, the variety of ways in which he painted her made them pictures of an ideal female type rather than individualized portraits. In many of his portraits, Freer lavishes attention as much attention upon his figures as he does upon the variety of beautiful objects and textures surrounding them. In the present work the transparent fan screening his bodice is a tour-de-force.
    Freer's style was highly variable over the course of his career, encompassing both European and American traditions. His earliest works carry the hallmarks of his training in Munich exhibiting a dark, limited palette and heavy shadows; the portraits from this period focus almost exclusively on the subject's face and expression. Under the influence of William Merritt Chase and the New York art scene of the 1880s, Freer developed a polished, Beaux-Arts style and brightened his palette. This is a transitional work between the two styles.









    Condition Report*: Lined canvas; minor frame abrasion at bottom left extreme edge; faint craquelure throughout; under UV exam, there appears to be minor inpainting along all four extreme edges to address frame wear, with an approx. 2-1/2 inches long spot at far right top edge, a dime-size spot near lower left corner, small dots of minor cosmetic inpainting along cusp of woman's right glove sleeve, and scattered pinpoints of inpainting in lower right quadrant. Framed Dimensions 27.23 X 23 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,360

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