DescriptionWILLIAM MERRITT CHASE (American, 1849-1916)
The Spanish Dude, circa 1905
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Bears estate seal on stretcher verso
Sale: American Art Galleries, New York, May 14-17, 1917, lot 79;
Private collection, West Virginia, possibly acquired from the above;
Mildred H. McKinley, Wheeling, West Virginia, by descent;
Estate of the above.
R. Pisano, The Complete Catalogue of Known and Documented Work by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), vol. II, New Haven, 2006, p. 219, no. 444, illustrated.
In his catalogue raisonné of the works of William Merritt Chase, Ronald Pisano describes The Spanish Dude as "a dark complexioned young man, manifestly proud of his good looks, with hair of rich black and a delicately twisted moustache . . . portrayed in head and shoulders, facing the left, with head turned to the spectator, at whom he looks with a bold smile and brilliant eye. He is in dark brown, with a soft white shirt and red scarf." Chase likely used the same model for Spanish Man Smoking Cigarette (no. 445). According to Pisano, these two portraits number among "a series of paintings of Spanish men that Chase painted while conducting his 1905 summer art class in Madrid. The signature style is associated with those works painted as class demonstration pieces" (R. Pisano, The Complete Catalogue of Known and Documented Work by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), vol. II, New Haven, 2006, p. 219).
The location of The Spanish Dude has recently come to light, having descended through four generations of a prominent West Virginia family.
Lined canvas; no visible condition issues; under UV exam, there appear to be flecks of possible crack-fill inpainting in figure's face and white blouse, but heavy professional varnish layer makes the painting surface difficult to read. Framed Dimensions 31 X 27 Inches
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