Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peggy Guggenheim

Franz von Lenbach
Peggy Guggenheim, ca. 1903
Oil on board, 128.9 x 92.7 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice
Purchase 98.5247

I came across this painting at the back of an art journal, listing acquisitions by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. I loved the expression on the girl's face and then once I realized it was a portrait of Peggy Guggenheim herself, I was quite interested particularly due to the style of the painting since it doesn't mesh well with my thoughts of the 20th century in which the majority of Guggenheim's life spans.

Peggy Guggenheim is a legend in the art world. She amassed one of the foremost collections of Modern art and gave Jackson Pollock his first show and support when she ran The Art of this Century Gallery in NYC. She later moved to Venice where she opened her collection to the public, Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The painter, Franz von Lenbach, is a new one to me. Born in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria, he eventually settled in Munich and became internationally successful painting portraits like this one of society personalities. In 1900 he won the Grand Prix for painting in Paris. Lenbach's painting is world away from the Modern art that Guggenheim so loved and promoted.

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