JULIUS STEWART (American 1855-1919)
    Reclining Nude by an Oriental Screen, circa 1900
    Oil on canvas
    28-1/2 x 47-3/4 inches (72.4 x 121.3 cm)

    Stewart was born in Philadelphia, but moved permanently to Paris with his family at the age of 10. Through his father, William Hood Stewart, a wealthy patron of Spanish and French artists, he became acquainted with leading figures in the art world. His father's collection was extremely strong in contemporary Spanish art, particularly the work of Mariano Fortuny, Eduardo Zamacrois, and Raimundo de Madrazo. Stewart studied at various times with Zamacrois, Madrazo and Jean-Léon Gérôme, and inspired by their example developed a colorful academic realist style. His oeuvre also includes nudes, genre scenes, and views of Venice. Stewart exhibited at the Paris Salon and at major international expositions, where he won many awards and prizes. Stewart received the French Legion of Honor in 1895. After 1900, Stewart rarely exhibited his art.

    Reclining Nude By an Oriental Screen dates from about 1900-at roughly the end of the decade he devoted to painting the nude in indoor as well as outdoor settings. He generally preferred creating compositions which focus upon a single woman in an elegant interior. The woman portrayed here appears to be Juliette V., who was one of Stewart's favorite models as well as his mistress (Julius LeBlanc Stewart: American Painter of the Belle Époque [New York: Vance Jordan Fine Art Inc., 1998], p. 59).

    Stewart's approach to the nude remained formal and academic. Decorously posed before decorative backdrops, they always appear to be in perfect harmony with their surroundings. According to Bailey Van Hook, Stewart 'often exhibited [his nudes] as studies and they have the character of academes in their obviously posed positions' ('The Genre Paintings of Julius L. Stewart: A Myriad of Influences,' unpublished paper, for Dr. H. Barbara Weinberg, City University Graduate Center, 1981, p. 28).

    Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    25th Friday
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