DescriptionGEORGE RANDOLPH BARSE (American, 1861-1938)
Oil and pencil on panel
10 x 6 inches (25.4 x 15.2 cm)
Initialed, dated and inscribed lower center: Barse 1890-4-21 Capri
THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST
Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York (label verso).
American artist and illustrator, George Barse, was a favorite of Graham Williford's. He was born in Detriot, raised in Kansas City, and went to Paris in 1878 where he trained for five years under Cabanel, Lefebvre and Boulanger. He returned to the United States for a few years, partly in New York and partly in the Texas panhandle before returning to Europe in 1889. His six years in Italy included his marriage in 1891 to well-known Italian model Rosina Ferrara, muse of John Singer Sargent and other painters. The two exquisite oil studies of flowering trees in this auction, which were painted on Capri, date from this intensely romantic period of Barse's life. In 1895 Barse received his best-known commission, eight allegorical panels for the Library of Congress.
Barse committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning four years after his wife's sudden death from pneumonia in 1934. As a result of Barse's friendship with Hattie Bishop Speed, many of his works are held at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
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