Artist: Auguste Toulmouche (French 1829-1890)
Title: (The Love Letter)
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 18 1/4" x 12" inches
Date: 1880's, Signed dated lower right.
Provenance: Estate of Camilla and Earl McGrath Collection.
Earl McGrath was the former head of Rolling Stone Records and a bicoastal gallerist, and Camilla was an Italian countess and an exceptional photographer.
The couple's residences in New York and Los Angeles were gathering places for the world's most influential social figures, including artists such as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, and Hollywood stars like Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper.
The McGrath's were noted for their exceptional art collection, and taste, and this can be seen in the present lot. This classical 19th century painting's restrained background palette give it a modern sensibility. This modern feel is further enhanced by Earl McGrath's choice of the contemporary bronze metal frame, which lends this painting a timeless classical feel.
August Toulmouche is best known for his intimate interior scenes depicting beautiful young women in elegant costumes.
Regarded as one of the leading "costume painters" alongside Frederic Soulacroix, the attention to life-like detail can be seen in this painting's pink silk dress
Toulmouche's role in art history is also notable, as being an early mentor to Claude Monet. Toulmuche married a cousin of Claude Monet in 1862, and was asked by Monet's family to mentor the young artist. Monet worked briefly in Toulmouche's studio in Paris, after which Toulmouche directed him to study with Charles Gleyre. It was at Gleyre's studio where Monet first encountered fellow impressionists Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille.