[Sold for Euro 114,750 at Sotheby’s, Paris - Oil on canvas, 50.5 x 40.5 cm]
A boy eats an egg, spilling the yolk over himself while pointing to another boy who is spooning porridge. An old man with beard and glasses and a child look on. At the right corner of the painting hangs a piece of paper with the English proverb “Every one his fancy.”
[Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - Oil on panel]
Max Liebermann - The Ropewalk in Edam  on Flickr.
Liebermann (German, 1847 - 1935) painted The Ropewalk in Edam during a visit to the small Dutch town, situated near the Zuider Zee about thirteen miles northeast of Amsterdam. The painting illustrates labourers manufacturing rope by twisting together strands of fibre. The work was done along a path known as a ropewalk. In the background is the canal that links Edam to the Zuider Zee.
[Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - Oil on canvas, 101 x 71.1 cm]
Monet worked on a number of canvases simultaneously, moving from one to the next as the light and weather changed. From the late 1860s Monet had attempted to transcribe his sensory impression of the landscape, but his intentions were now different. He continued to claim that his works were spontaneous records of his visual experience, but increasingly, he elaborated on them in the studio, seeking qualities not strictly based on observation. With each layer of paint he added, in fact, the further the picture seemed to depart from its subject, becoming pure paint and effect.
He brought the cathedral paintings back to his home in Giverny (about halfway between Paris and Rouen). Heavily painted surfaces reveal him struggling at times to finish these paintings. Monet conceived of them as a single project and did not consider any one complete until all were finished. He finally exhibited twenty of them in Paris in 1895. Monet’s aims were no longer to simply record his sensory experience, but to explore light and colour more deliberately as purely artistic concerns and as expressions of mood. He was seeking, he wrote a friend while working on the cathedral series, “more serious qualities, that one might live longer with one of these canvases.”
[National Gallery of Art, Washington - Oil on canvas, 100.1 x 65.9 cm]
Louis Ritman - Looking Out, Giverny on Flickr.
In Looking-Out, Giverny, Ritman approaches his motif as an act of calm and quiet contemplation, an attitude much favoured by his compatriots. Here, a lovely young woman gazes out at a lush garden in full flower growing just beyond the open French doors. Her richly-coloured and patterned dress links the table top still life to the myriad white blossoms seen immediately outside the threshold and eventually to the pink roof and yellow facade of the adjoining building, partially masked by the slightly closed blinds of the jalousie.
[Sotheby’s, New York - Oil on canvas, 92.1 x 92.1 cm]
Anne Elizabeth Channing Porter, aside from her role as Fairfield Porter’s wife and model, was a serious and well-regarded poet for most of her life. Her anthology of poems, published in the 1990s when she was 83, won critical acclaim and made her a National Book Award finalist. She and Fairfield married when she was 20, in 1932; the marriage produced five children and lasted for over forty years, until his death in 1975. The couple moved to Southampton, on Long Island’s South Fork, in 1949. Porter, an intellectual and poet himself, was known primarily as a writer and art critic at that point. It took many years before his work achieved public recognition in the 1950s.
[Sotheby’s, New York - Oil on masonite, 40.6 x 61 cm]
Jan de Bray - Caring for Orphans  on Flickr.
The Haarlem artist, Jan de Bray (1626 - 1697) may have been taught by his father, the painter and architect Salomon de Bray. Jan de Bray is mainly known for his stately portraits. He was also a master of informal portraits, as can be seen from his lively depiction of a Haarlem printer and his wife, Abraham Casteleyn and Margarieta van Bancken. In the early seventeenth century Frans Hals, with his ‘rough and ready’ painting style, was Haarlem’s favourite portrait painter, but after 1650 tastes changed in favour of the young Jan de Bray. De Bray received by far the most commissions to paint portraits. His works, in contrast to those of Frans Hals, were smoothly painted, evenly lit and filled with bright colours. Jan de Bray died in Haarlem at the age of seventy.
[Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem - Oil on canvas, 134.5 x 154 cm]
Ferdinand Max Bredt - Serenade in the Harem on Flickr.
Ferdinand Max Bredt (1868 - 1921) was a German painter with Oriential/Arabian influence. Bredt predominantly uses female subjects that he places in exotic locations, interiors, and courtyard. He was fascinated with Oriental architecture; he built his house and studio in Ruhpolding in an Arabian style. The work of Ferdinand Max Bredt was exhibited in Paris, Berlin, Chicago and London. Today he is little-known, but he was widely recognised in his lifetime for his works.
[Sotheby’s - Oil on canvas, 85.1 x 52.1 cm]
Philippe-Jacques van Bree was born in Antwerp in 1786. He studied at Antwerp, in Paris (where he became a scholar of Girodet), and at Rome; and also visited Germany and England. He was made conservator of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, where he died in 1871.
[Private Collection - Oil on canvas]
Godfried Schalcken (Made, 1643 - The Hague, November 16, 1706) was a Dutch genre and portrait painter. He was noted for his mastery in reproducing the effect of candlelight, and painted in the exquisite and highly polished manner of the Leiden Fijnschilders. Before he was 4 years old, his family moved to Dordrecht, where his father became rector of the Latin school. His earlier genre paintings very closely resemble Gerard Dou’s work. He worked in Leiden until c.1675, then returned to Dordrecht until 1691, after which he settled in The Hague, where he continued to paint until his death in 1706. He also visited England (1692–1697), but his uncouth manners and bad temper alienated him from the society there.
[Mauritshuis, The Hague - Oil on panel, 35 x 28.5 cm]
Giovanni Lanfranco (Parma, January 26, 1582 - Rome, November 30, 1647) was an Italian painter. Lanfranco translated Correggio’s 16th-century style into a Roman Baroque idiom. His painting in the dome of San Andrea della Valle in Rome (1621–25) derives directly from Correggio in its virtuoso use of vigorously posed figures floating in the clouds over the spectator’s head. Lanfranco worked in Naples from 1633/34 to 1646, his best known work there being the dome of the chapel of San Gennaro in the cathedral (1641–46).
[Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid - Oil on canvas, 181 x 362 cm]
[Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - Oil on panel]
Lee Man Fong - Bali Life  on Flickr.
Lee Man Fong (1913 - 1988) has distinguished himself amongst his peers as an individual who strived to adapt his cultural values into his paintings. As a self-taught artist he was keen to absorb all modes of creative expressions, and growing up in Singapore was exposed to both Eastern and Western art forms. However throughout his lifetime, the artist remained faithful to the aesthetics and philosophies that were the foundation of his Chinese heritage. “It conflicts with my own personality and I cannot force myself to do what is entirely anathema to my nature. When an artist loses his integrity, ceases to be true to himself… his future is ruined for sure”, he once said.
[Sotheby’s, Hong Kong - Oil on canvas, 82.5 x 184 cm]
Vietnamese lacquer artists are highly regarded for their talents with the material as an art form. No longer perceived as merely decorative works of art, lacquer pieces have become a part of the country’s art history. Lacquer itself is made up from the resin of trees that are only native to Asia. In Vietnam the tree is known as Rhus succedanea. The tradition of local lacquer painting is more than 2,000 years old, dating as far back as the Ly dynasty in the 11th century where the material was used in palaces and temples. Throughout its history lacquer has evolved as a creative medium, and one that has become a part of the Vietnamese cultural identity. However it was during the early 20th century that saw lacquer painting reach new heights, with the thirties and forties celebrated as the Golden Age of Vietnamese lacquer painting.
The present work View of a Landscape of the Middle Region of North Vietnam was created during this period, and perfectly exemplifies the favoured aesthetics and themes that would come to define modern Phu Tho lacquer paintings. The current work is a depiction of a local junk boat upon a river in the midlands of North Vietnam, complimented by the nearby fishing village, the lush tropical foliage and the mountains in the distance. The presence of the women amidst the palm trees further enhances the gentle quietude of the landscape.
[Sotheby’s, Hong Kong - Lacquer on wood, 76 x 103.5 cm]
The present work entitled Paghuhuli Ng Mga Manok (Catching Chickens) is a classic piece from the artist’s oeuvre. Her portrayals of rural women provided a platform for the audience to empathise with those individuals, whose lives were for a moment part of the public domain. It was this reciprocal relationship that has garnered her oeuvre much acclaim and the artist recognised as one of the Thirteen Moderns who had a transformative impact on Filipino modern art. Within this grouping of artists, Magsaysay-Ho (1914 - 2012) was the only female.
She began her art education at nine years old under the tutorage of Ireneo Miranda who was a respected cartoonist. Magsaysay-Ho did her formal training at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts, and later at the School of Design in Manila where her professors included fellow artists Fernando Amorsolo and Victorio Edades. In the thirties the artist had the opportunity to study in America, specifically at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan and then at the Art Students’ League in New York City.
[Sotheby’s, Hong Kong - Oil on canvas, 102 x 132 cm]