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Museum Masterpieces

Annie Feray Mutrie (British, 1826-1893) - Cactus | Bonhams

(possibly) Royal Academy, 1866, no. 370;
Paris Universal Exhibition, 1867.

Annie Feray Mutrie was the younger sister of Martha Darley Mutrie. Born in Manchester, both girls studied at the Manchester School of Design under George Wallis. Both artists specialised in still life painting, regularly exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1851-1882.
The naturalistic style of their work was admired by John Ruskin, who in praise of Annie Feray wrote: "All these flower paintings are remarkable for very lovely, pure, and yet unobtrusive colour- perfectly tender and yet luscious, and a richness of petal texture that seems absolutely scented.

The arrangement is always graceful- the backgrounds sometimes too faint.
I wish this very accomplished artist would paint some banks of flowers in wild country, just as they grow, as she appears slightly in danger of falling into too artificial methods of grouping". (Academy Notes, 1855) | Bonhams

Anton Ebert (Austrian, 1845-1896) | The Mandolin Player, 1896

Anton Ebert (1845-1896) was an Austrian portrait and landscape painter.
Ebert studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and continued his studies privately with Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller in Vienna.
After several study trips, Ebert worked in Vienna as a portrait painter and created. including miniature portraits of Franz Joseph I on ivory . In later years, Ebert also dealt with landscape painting from the area around Vienna.
Anton Ebert had been a member of the Künstlerhaus since 1862.

Armand Guillaumin (1841-1927) Madame Guillaumin, 1885

Anna Ancher (Skagen painter, 1859-1935) | Blue clematis in the studio of the artist, 1913 | Skagens Museum

Anna Ancher has painted her own studio in Anchers Hus in this picture, but it looks more like a living room without any indications that this is an artist’s working space: There is no easel, no paintbrushes and. most importantly, no paintings.
Instead, she has chosen to focus on the table and the arrangement of clematis flowers on the table, and the window framed by the light blue curtains.
In 1913, the architect Ulrik Plesner designed an extension to Anchers Hus with studios for both Anna Ancher and her husband Michael Ancher.
Anna Ancher probably painted this picture shortly after the completion of the extension.
The painting gets its title from the clematis in the vase on the table. The clematis is of the Jackmanii variety, which still grows in the gardens at Anchers Hus and Skagens Museum. | Skagens Museum

Aroldo Bonzagni (1887-1918) Mondanità, 1910

Aroldo Bonzagni (24 September 1887 - 30 December 1918) was a painter, draftsman, and illustrator born in Cento, Italy.
He moved to Milan to attend the Accademia di Brera on a scholarship, joining the ranks of avant-garde artists and becoming friends with Carlo Carrà, Umberto Boccioni and Luigi Russolo.
He was extremely critical of the elite society of the times and signed the first Futurist Manifesto in 1910.
Bonzagni died from the Spanish influenza pandemic in Milan.
In Cento, the Galleria d'arte moderna Aroldo Bonzagni was established in 1959 in his memory.

Cornelis Cels (Flemish painter, 1820-1821) | Swiss Peasant Woman, 1820 | Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Cornelis Cels (10 June 1778 - 3 March 1859) was a Flemish painter of portraits and religious subjects.
He was a professor and director of the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Tournai (Academy of Fine Arts, Tournai).
He was patronized as a portrait painter by the court of The Hague.
Swiss farmer's wife. Young woman with a hunting dog going through a hilly landscape with a stick over her shoulder from which a captive bird hangs.

Auguste Renoir | Eugène Murer (Hyacinthe-Eugène Meunier, 1841–1906) 1877 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Murer was an artist, celebrated pastry cook, restaurateur, novelist, poet, and avid collector of Impressionist paintings.
By 1887, ten years after he sat for this portrait, he had amassed some 122 works by his painter-friends, including 15 by Renoir, whom he called "the greatest artist of our century".
It has been suggested that Murer’s pose and gaze in this work served as a model for Van Gogh’s famous portrait of another great Impressionist collector, Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (private collection), Murer’s neighbor in Auvers. | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Auguste Renoir | Still life with peaches and grapes, 1881 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

During his visit to the Berard family at Wargemont near the Normandy coast in the summer of 1881, Renoir painted this still life of peaches that could well have been from an orchard on the estate. Unlike apples and pears, peaches are fragile, bruise easily, and last a short time.
In France, they are often placed in a ceramic container or basket with grape leaves or some other foliage to separate them.
Here, in diffuse softly colored light, the fruit is piled up to form a generous pyramid in a footed blue and white faïence jardinière and is shown together with, apparently, three pears and an apple.
The container was used in the dining room at Wargemont, according to a family member.
It is set on the diagonal, on the corner of a table covered with a slightly rumpled white cloth. The background—of elaborate varicolored floral motifs in a stylized pattern with a gold band and a foliate border along the left edge—is, most likely, either a tapestry curtain or screen.
It is not difficult to imagine Renoir, who for several years was a regular long-term visitor, seated with the Berards and their guests consuming the ripe fruit at the end of an elaborate meal. | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Auguste Renoir | The Daughters of Catulle Mendès, Huguette, Claudine, and Helyonne, 1888 | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hoping to recapture the success he had achieved with Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children at the Salon of 1879, Renoir sought to paint the daughters of his friend Catulle Mendès.
In addition to the girls’ manifest charm, he undoubtedly counted on the notoriety of their bohemian parents to gain attention: their father was a Symbolist poet and publisher, and their mother was the virtuoso pianist Augusta Holmès.
Renoir completed the commission in a matter of weeks and immediately exhibited the large canvas in May 1888, but the response to his new manner of painting, with its intense hues and schematized faces, was unenthusiastic. | The Metropolitan Museum of Art