signed with initials OK lower right
Bob Gesinus-Visser, Lima, Peru
Edward E. Ayer
A. & E. Silbermann Galleries, New York, no. 2273
The Art Institute, Chicago (acquired in 1948)
Dr. Harry Blutman, New York
Mrs Gabe and Mrs Trauner, 1960
Bernard Brenner, Salzburg
Private German Collector, Salzburg
Sale: Christie's, London, 7 October 1999, lot 75
Purchased at the above sale
'S-Gravenhage, Dienst Voor Schone Kunsten, August 1958, no. 201
Edith Hoffmann, Kokoschka: Life and Work, London, 1947, no. 258, pp. 292-293
Hans Maria Wingler, Oskar Kokoschka: Das Werk des Malers, Salzburg, 1958, no. 277, p. 323, illustrated
Painted in Rapallo in 1933, the present work portrays Lily Gesinus-Visser, the wife of Consul Bob Gesinus-Visser, whom Kokoschka first met and befriended in Paris earlier that same year.
Kokoschka and the Gesinus-Visser family spent the summer of 1933 in Rapallo, but the holiday did not end happily for the artist, who later complained to his friend Albert Ehrenstein that Bob Gesinus-Visser was a 'rich gigolo', who treated him 'like a factory' having paid some of his bills in Paris and having invited him on the Italian sojourn.
Kokoschka's portrait of Lily is nevertheless a tender depiction of his hostess in her evening dress seated before a curtain, painted in a series of deft impasto brushstrokes. Possibly alluding to her husband's allusions of grandeur, Kokoschka has painted the Gesinus-Visser family coat of arms in the top right corner, lending the painting a pretension of grandeur in the manner of the great portraits of the Italian Renaissance.
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