Italian / Austrian, (1843-1932)
"Musette," 1900
oil on panel
signed and dated upper right "Eugene Von Blaas / 1900"

oil on panel
50 x 29 3/4 inches

  • Provenance: Kunsthandlung L.T. Neumann, Vienna, Austria; MacConnal-Mason Gallery, London; Private Collection, Japan (1988); Christie's, New York, New York, October 30, 2002, lot 30; Private Collection, New Jersey; Sotheby's, New York, New York, October 26, 2004, lot 97; MacConnal-Mason Gallery, London, May 12, 2009; Private Collection, New York.
  • Notes: A partial label on the reverse inscribed "...dell'opera "Musette" / Eugenio de Blaas / Zattere Venezia"
    Eugene von Blaas was born into a family of accomplished artists. His father, Carl von Blaas, was a renowned portrait, history, and fresco painter as well as a sculptor and professor at the Venice Academy of Fine Art.
    Eugene and his brother Julius, also an artist, were born in Rome and later moved with their family to Venice. They earned their early artistic education in Rome, and both became professors at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
    Von Blaas is most recognized for his realistic images of Venetian women. His women are striking in their youth and austere beauty, and they are depicted with a high degree of polish which demonstrates the artist's unique abilities as both draftsman and artist. His ability to paint the skin, lips, and eyes of the models in an almost photographic manner clearly shows the artist's intent to portray these women going about their daily routines unaware of their own beauty.
    After helping his father with the frescoes in Vienna's Arsenal between 1860 and 1872, Von Blaas moved to Venice permanently at the end of the 1880s. There, his artistic activity reached its peak.
    By this time, von Blaas had begun to expand his canvases and incorporate more elaborate details into his compositions, culminating in large-scale vertical paintings like the present lot. Musette, dated 1900, is an impressive canvas and an extraordinary example of one of von Blaas' characteristic figures. Musette is a character from Puccini's opera La Bohème first performed in 1896.
    The model's expression is charming and personal, as she seems to be looking straight into the viewer's eyes. Of the artist's young Venetian portraits, Wassibauer writes, "[von Blaas'] portraits… are structured in a way which is both narrative and playful: his Venetian women have a seductive or melancholy look or may be bold and challenging."1
    During his lifetime, his paintings were well-received in Great Britain and he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, the Grafton Gallery, and the New Gallery.
    1 Thomas Wassibauer, Eugen von Blaas, (Oetwil am See, Switzerland: Edition Olms, 2005), p. 17.
    Framed dimensions: 58 x 38 x 3 inches

    Tags: European, 19th century, oil painting, listed artist, opera
  • Condition: in overall very good condition; cradled panel; in a period frame; minor scattered areas of restoration apparent under UV; varnish inconsistencies apparent under UV; additional UV photos available upon request
    Condition Report Note:
    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 Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. 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. Thank you for your interest in our sale.

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