DescriptionThe Hon. Paul H. Buchanan, Jr. Collection
EVERETT SHINN (American, 1876-1953)
The Artist in an Allegorical Setting, circa 1907
Oil on canvas
43-1/2 x 13-1/2 inches (110.5 x 34.3 cm)
Hammer Galleries, New York (label verso);
Purchased from Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, June 11, 1980 (label verso).
This tall, thin painting of a flamboyantly-dressed artist at the easel - dashing off a portrait of a pretty woman - is a prime example of Everett Shinn's decorative rococo style. Owing to his ability to paint with tremendous speed (truly an American "fa presto"), his flashy brushwork, and his brilliance as a draftsman, Shinn was a favorite of New York's finest decorators and architects including Elsie de Wolfe, Stanford White, David Belasco, and Clyde Fitch. For a host of mansions Shinn painted murals, overdoors, ceilings, woodwork, mantelpieces, folding screens, sideboards, and even pianos in his rococo revival style. Artistically, Shinn was a talented chameleon: on one hand he produced paintings and drawings recording the grittiest urban denizens and their world in his so-called "Ashcan School" imagery, while on the other he painted Boucher-like confections for the homes of the upper crust.
This specific Louis XVIth-style painting by Shinn, with decorative gilt border and flourishes, originally formed part of a folding screen. It is reproduced in situ, in a photograph recording a lavish, unidentified interior, in Edith Deshazo's biography, Everett Shinn 1876-1953. A Figure in His Time, New York, p. 89.
Original canvas and stretcher bars. Gold-leaf decorative border. Strengthenings in the sky, the foliage, the artist's garment, and the still-life motif at the bottom are apparent to the naked eye and are clearly revealed under UV examination.
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