Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
Heritage is in the process of relocating its world headquarters to a new Dallas area location, which will be announced soon. Please call 214-528-3500 to confirm all Heritage appointments, events or deliveries in Dallas, as our departments and staff are moving at different times from separate locations.
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended and our offices are closed, except for scheduled appointments. See details including all options for bidding remotely.

    Description

    EDWARD AUGUST BELL (American, 1862-1953)
    Portrait of a Woman, 1883
    Oil on canvas
    39-1/2 x 24-1/2 inches (100.3 x 62.2 cm)
    Signed, dated and inscribed lower left: E.A. Bell June 1883 Munchen

    THE JEAN AND GRAHAM DEVOE WILLIFORD CHARITABLE TRUST

    PROVENANCE:
    Collection of the painter, William Forsyth (1854-1935);
    By descent to his daughter, Constance Forsyth;
    Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York;
    William A. Coles, Ann Arbor, Michigan, purchased from the above March 7, 1980.

    Early in his career, New York-born painter Edward Bell developed a style that was profoundly influenced by his training at the Royal Academy in Munich beginning in 1883, the same year he produced this lush, dark portrait full of evocative character. There, under the guidance of realist painter Ludwig von Loefftz, he made a careful study of the Dutch and Spanish masters--an influence apparent in this portrait of a woman. Her spotlit likeness emerges dramatically from a rich, inky background also favored by the American Frank Duveneck. While in Munich Bell participated in various important exhibitions including those at the Royal Academy. The Paris Exposition of 1889 was the first exhibition to bring him international attention. There he exhibited one of his most famous works - The Lady in Gray - which contained a radical device. In that work Bell incorporated as background a softly patterned scrim, a decorative convention he would use in many later paintings of women. In his later work as a painter of genre, interiors, dancers, musicians, and floral still lifes, the influence of Whistler and Chase is much more prevalent. The sitter for this portrait is the same one who appears in Bell's Portrait of a Young Woman (circa 1887), also painted in Munich, in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art (inv. no. 71.218.9). The first owner of the present portrait was the American painter William Forsyth, a friend and classmate of Bell's in Munich.





    Condition Report*: This painting was wax lined by conservator, Bernard Rabin, of Newward, NJ in 10/71 (per stamp verso). UV examination  reveals that deeper craquelure has been judiciously inpainted, notably under the figure's left eye, across the bridge of her nose, and in her hair and around her head. There is scattered inpaint in the background, particularly in a column of scattered dots along the left side of the painting. Paint film is stable. Framed Dimensions 47 X 31 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: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 802

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 November 19 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction - Beverly Hills.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You were more than willing to hold my hand through the process and we had satisfactory results. Should I ever decide to auction any other pieces, I will be certain to contact you again.
    Anonymous,
    n/a
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search