ROBERT HENRI | FRANCINE (“LOVEY”)
1865 - 1929
signed Robert Henri (lower right); inscribed with the artist's record book number and titled "FRANCINE" (on the reverse prior to lining); inscribed with the artist's record book number again and indistinctly LOV* (on the left and right tacking edges)
oil on canvas
24 by 20 inches
(61 by 50.8 cm)
Painted in 1921.
The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes, Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This work has been lined with Beva-371 as an adhesive onto a transparent support, which reveals an original inscription with the title and artist's index number on the reverse. The paint layer is well textured, clean and varnished. It is in good condition. One can see remnants of old varnish under ultraviolet light. The olive green color in the dress in the lower right and lower center reads very strongly under ultraviolet light, but this is all original to the artist. There do not appear to be any retouches at all, except for one spot in the upper left. The varnish remnants could theoretically be removed, but it is recommended that the work be hung as is.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Mrs. T. C. Read, Scottsdale, Arizona
Samuel B. and Marion W. Lawrence, Orlando, Florida (sold: Christie’s, New York, November 29, 2007, lot 23)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale
Robert Henri Diary, March 1926, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C., reel 886, frame 846
Winter Park, Florida, Rollins College, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, The Independents: The Ashcan School & Their Circle From Florida Collections, March-May 1996, no. 3, pp. 5, 25, 31, illustrated p. 31
St. Petersburg, Florida, Museum of Fine Arts, In the American Spirit: Realism and Impressionism from the Lawrence Collection, March-June 1999, no. 19, pp. 28, 31, 67, 84, illustrated
The present work was painted in the spring of 1921 preceding what would become a prolific summer for the artist, spent in Woodstock, New York. The subjects of Henri’s paintings focused heavily on portraits of children in his later years and Henri felt particularly pleased with the present work upon completion. According to Valerie Ann Leeds:
“Painted in April, probably in his New York studio, Francine, subtitled ‘Lovey,’ depicts a girl of about three years old with ‘Irish blue-gray eyes.’ Henri repainted various aspects of this portrait on four separate occasions between April 10, 1921, and May 22, 1922. In his diary, he made extensive color and palette notations, with the additional explanation: ‘The reason for the making of these notes is that I like the picture very much and wish to remember it in all details. Its character, color, composition, painting, drawing – all very free and constructive.’ This represents a departure from Henri’s usual working methods, as he generally worked with great speed, only rarely returning to rework passages or large areas of painting.” (Valerie Ann Leeds, The Independents: The Ashcan School & Their Circle from Florida Collections, Winter Park, Florida, 1996, p. 5.)