Books and Art: The Ocean Nymphs. Augustus Jules Bouvier (British,...
Parable of the Rich Man (1627). Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Oil on oak. Staatliche Museen, Berlin. The painting, known as The Money-Changer, is also interpreted as the allegory of miserliness. The highly conscious use of dark and light in constructing compositions is considered part of Caravaggio’s legacy. This method was known to Rembrandt through the mediation of Utrecht painters like Gerrit van Honthorst, who brought stylistic Caravaggism from Italy to Holland.
Gertrude Elizabeth (née Blood), Lady Colin Campbell (c.1897). Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931). Oil on canvas. NPG, London. Gertrude Blood married Lord Colin Campbell, in 1881, but separated from him in 1886 after a scandalous case in which he alleged her adultery with four co-respondents. She worked as an art critic, published works, and was admired for her athletic prowess. Boldini imparted a special glamour to this alluring sitter by taking liberties with the rules of anatomy.
Portrait of the Ballerina Natalie Krassovska (1934). Savely Sorine (Russian, 1878-1953). Watercolour, heightened with white, coloured crayons and pencil on paper, laid on canvas. Krassovska joined the Ballet Russe de Paris in 1935 and René Blum’s Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1936. In 1938, she became a member of the Massine-Denham Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. During her time with the troupe, Krassovska worked closely with Mikhail Fokine who coached her for roles in Les Sylphides and…
A Modern Hero. Louis Bromfield. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1932. First edition. Original dust jacket; art by F. S. Johst. Pierre is a young and handsome circus rider whose mother has long tolerated his amorous adventures but becomes genuinely concerned when he actually falls in love. She reveals to him that he’s the son of a wealthy man, whom she could not marry because of the circus life. But Pierre uses this knowledge as a springboard to wealth and fame himself.
The Etude, April 1906. Cover art by Ada Brooke Drake (1874-1951). Woman playing religious music on the harp. “Bring up one set of musically gifted boys…on plantation melodies for a Cantus Firmus, and we will soon have a symphony which shall not be called American by its author, but which the public will spontaneously and enthusiastically acclaim as an ‘American Symphony.’ “ – Mr. Constantin von Sternberg
The Evil Men Do. Cortland Fitzsimmons. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1941. First edition. Original dust jacket; art by Martinot. “A smart antique shop is but a cover for notorious but elegant gambling rooms in the rear. Martinique, cold-blooded and ruthless, is the owner; his manager and his fish-eyed secretary are as unsavory as he. But Martinique makes a mistake when he draws into a diabolical plot a lovely young girl and her fiancé.”
The Violet Flame: Story of Armageddon and After. Fred T. Jane. Chicago, Laird & Lee, 1899. “This is a strange and weird tale of a general upheaval about to take place, and culminating in the destruction of the whole human race, except the hero and heroine, who are left behind to start anew the story of Adam and Eve. In spite of the dramatic ending, the book is full of modern lite and humor, and the interest centers in the city of London, in the first years of the coming century…”
Portrait of the artist’s wife, Marie Fargues, in Turkish dress (1756-1758). Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss-French, 1702-1789). Pastel on parchment. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Fargues is shown full length, sitting on a couch. Her head is resting on her right hand. On the divan is a book with its place marked as if Fargues had been reading as well as a basket with a mirror, comb and hat. On the floor are an Oriental rug and a vase of carnations.