Gandara, Antonio de la (1861-1917) by Scholes, Robert

Gandara, Antonio de la (1861 – 1917) He was born in Paris. From Wikipedia “The Free Encyclopedia” (with corrections): His father was of Spanish ancestry, born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and his mother was from England. As such, his talent was strongly influenced by the two cultures. At only 15 years of age, Gandara was admitted as a student of and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Soon, he was to be recognized when the jury of the 1883 Salon des Champs-Elysées singled out the first work he ever exhibited: a portrait of Saint Sebastian. Gerome Cabanel Less than ten years later, young Gandara had become one of the favourite artists of the Paris elite. His models included Countess Greffulhe, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg, Princess of Chimay, Prince de Polignac, Prince de Sagan, Leconte de Lisle, Paul Verlaine, Leonor Uriburu de Anchorena, Sarah Bernhardt, Romaine Brooks, Jean Moreas, and Winnaretta Singer. . . . Influenced by , his unique skill is demonstrated in his portraits, in a simplicity with the finest details, or the serenity of his scenes of the bridges, parks, and streets of Paris. Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin Gandara illustrated a small number of publications, including Les Danaïdes by Camille Mauclair. With , , and Yamamoto, La Gandara illustrated of the French poet Robert de Montesquiou. The book, published in 1893, has become a rare collector’s item. The first exhibition of Gandara’s work organised in New York by Durand-Ruel in 1898 was a major success and confirmed the painter as one of the masters of his time. Major newspapers and magazines routinely reproduced his portraits, several of which made the front page of publications like the fashionable magazine. Gandara participated in the most important exhibitions in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Dresden, Barcelona and Saragossa. James McNeill Whistler Jean-Louis Forain Les Chauves-Souris Le Figaro . . . He died on June 30, 1917, and was interred in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France. Although his fame faded rapidly after his death, the current growing interest in the 19th century has seen Gandara regain popularity as a key witness to the art of his time through his canvases first, but also as the model chosen by the novelists Jean Lorrain and Marcel Proust, and through the anecdotes of his own life narrated by Goncourt, Georges-Michel, and Montesquiou.” It is clear that Gandara was connected to the aesthetes of the end of the nineteenth century, with a list of friends and acquaintances that ran from Whistler and to Proust and Verlaine. He drew, for example, the same Mme Gautreau whom Sargent famouly painted as Mme X, and he painted Robert de Montesquiou, who was the model for Proust’s Baron de Charlus. Sargent

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