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    Description

    VICENTE GOMEZ Y PLASENT (Spanish, 19th Century)
    La Parisienne, 1886
    Oil on canvas
    28-3/4 x 21-1/4 inches (73.0 x 54.0 cm)
    Signed, dated, and inscribed lower right: Gomez Plasent. / Paris 1886.

    PROVENANCE:
    Kurt E. Schon, Ltd., New Orleans, Louisiana, 1986 (label verso).

    Biographers have written little about the life of Spanish artist Vicente Gomez y Plasent other than that he exhibited genre paintings and landscapes between 1881-88, notably in Madrid. His paintings, however, tell a far more colorful story about his travels to Paris and his fascination with Belle Époque artists, culture and fashion. La Parisienne confirms, through its inscription, that Gomez y Plasent was working in Paris in 1886, clearly studying the techniques and subjects of Impressionists Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who popularized plein air portraits of leisured middle-class friends lounging in gardens or strolling along the city's famed boulevards.

    Like Renoir's well-known 1874 La Parisienne, a portrait of actress Henriette Henriot in a ruffled blue dress, Gomez y Plasent's La Parisienne captures a distinctive type of French woman: sophisticated, chic, social, and confident, the product of a rapidly modernizing city. Here, Gomez y Plasent poses his model as a trendy fashion plate, drawing attention to the details of her dress and accessories: her fitted velvet jacket, accented with a pearl brooch and corsage, offsets her bustled silk skirt; and her leather gloves, parasol, hat, and ankle boots signify her place outdoors, on the streets with flower vendors and poster-plastered kiosks, in the world of men and commerce. Positioned centrally and frontally, staring directly at the viewer, this Parisienne exudes take-charge confidence and independence. Cleverly, Gomez y Plasent contrasts her bold figure with a light and airy Impressionist landscape, where trees bend in the breeze and leaves cascade at her feet.

    Gomez y Plasent no doubt was aware of the erotic undertones of the 1880s Parisienne. As a fashionable object meant to be gazed upon in public, the Parisienne was a type of commodity, a female spectacle. The Parisienne also connoted the demimonde, as courtesans, like housewives, began shopping at upscale grands magasins. Here, Gomez y Plasent veils his Parisienne to hint at her mysterious allure. Others of his paintings also reveal his interest in the seductive female form. For example, in On the Beach, a young woman wearing modish bathing attire cocks her head coquettishly at the viewer, and in the Orientalist Musician, an exotically costumed Algerian banjo player exposes plunging cleavage.


    Condition Report*: Glue-lined canvas; faint craquelure; stable surface; under UV exam, appears to be in-painting along top extreme edge, possibly to address frame wear, scattered pinpoints of in-painting throughout sky region, with two spots of in-painting also in sky, the largest being quarter-size, flecks of in-painting in figure's hat and veil, as well as in her dress, some of which may be crack-fill in-painting, another quarter-size spot of in-painting in tree at far left center, and several other quarter-size and dime-size spots of in-painting in lower left corner. Framed Dimensions 35.25 X 27.75 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
    June, 2013
    15th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,778

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