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JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

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London

Ambrose McEvoy, A.R.A.
1878-1927
PORTRAIT OF MADAME GANDRILLAS AND HER CHILDREN, MARIE-ROSE, CARMEN AND JUANA

Provenance

By descent in the sitter’s family;
Julian Simon Fine Art Ltd, London where purchased by the present owner in 1993

Exhibited

London, Grosvenor Gallery, Exhibition of International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, 1918

Literature

"Wiggs", The Works of Ambrose McEvoy, 1923, p.67;
Albert Rutherston (ed.), Contemporary British Artists: Ambrose McEvoy, 1924, illustrated pl.22;
Sebastian Faulks, The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives, 2010, p.11

Catalogue Note

The beautiful Madame Juanita Gandarillas was the wife of the flamboyant Chilean diplomat Antonio de Gandarillas, known as Tony. His aunt was Eugenia Erráziz, a Chilean beauty who blazed the modernist circles of Paris from the 1880s. A patron of the arts, she was painted by Sargent, Picasso (who adored her so much she became known as 'Picasso's Other Mother'), Giovanni Boldini, Paul Helleu, Augustus John and Ambrose McEvoy.

Having painted Tony’s aunt, McEvoy was a natural choice for a family portrait of the Gandarillas family. Madame Gandarillas was a striking figure, described by the classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein as a 'lovely, very elegant young woman' (quoted in Andrew W. Moore, The Stylemakers, 2010, p.26), which McEvoy captures powerfully here. A noticeable absence in the family portrait is Tony himself. Originally he stood to the side of Madame Gandarillas but was painted out not long after McEvoy finished the work on account of Tony’s scandalous lifestyle. As described by Sebastian Faulks in The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives, Tony ‘was exhaustingly, indefatigably social: after parties, he loved food, drink, opium, gambling, travel, art and young men' (p.11). Indeed one of his significant relationships was with the charming but vulnerable English modernist painter, Christopher Wood, who became Tony's curio and protégé. With their marriage broken down, Madame Gandarillas was having a sporadic affair with the English art critic and Bloomsbury group member, Clive Bell.

Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art

|
London