Details & Cataloguing

Erotic: Passion & Desire

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Julius LeBlanc Stewart
AMERICAN, 1855 - 1919
BEFORE THE FIRE
signed and dated JL Stewart 1912 (lower right)
oil on canvas
152 by 110cm., 60 by 43¾in.
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Provenance

Possibly, Eliza Caroline Morgan (possibly acquired directly from the artist, her nephew)
William Morgan Phillips (the artist's first cousin)
John L. Phillips (by descent from the above)
Walter Massey Phillips, Sr. (thence by descent)



 

Exhibited

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundred and Eighth Annual Exhibition, 1913, no. 153 (as Before the Fire)

 

Catalogue Note

An American by birth, Julius LeBlanc Stewart moved to Paris from Philadelphia in 1865, exposing him to the ateliers of internationally renowned artists from a young age. 
In 1878, at the age of twenty-three, he made his debut at the Paris Salon, which placed him at the ranks of other celebrated American expatriate artists like John Singer Sargent. Stewart is best known for his large scale paintings of Parisian high society. However, as the expatriate Parisian social scene faded in the 1890’s, Stewart focused his attention on more intimate subjects: nudes. In 1899, each of his seven pictures submitted to the Salon depicted nudes. Before the Fire was exhibited in 1913 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where some seemed to question the artist’s bold choice of subject, a contrast to his earlier scenes of vibrant contemporary life.  In a review of the exhibition, the Telegraph reported, “This is a glowing picture of a girl unhampered by incidental scenery except a few strands of hair. Her hands are propped under her chin and the picture suggests she has recently come from a bath. There is nothing sinfully alluring in the eyes, the picture is that of innocent well being, but still it is said that objections have been made to this canvas.”  (Telegraph, Philadelphia, Feb. 10, 1913).

Erotic: Passion & Desire

|
London