Offered by Galerie de Frise
Ancient portrait painting
(Hamburg 1826 - Paris 1889)
Vanity with a Bavarian chair
Oil on canvas
H. 32 cm ; L. 19 cm
Signed lower left
- Post-sale of the studio, May 19/21, 1890, Paris, Galerie George Petit, No. 147 of the catalog, titled Still Life
- Former collection Michel Manzi (stamped in ink on the reverse of the canvas)
- His sale, March 13, 1919, Paris, Galerie Manzi, Joyant et Cie, N°68 of the catalog, titled Still life - A skull on a chair. In the foreground a jug and a napkin
A French painter of German origin, Ferdinand Heilbuth was the son of a rabbi and like his father he seemed predestined to follow the family's religious vocation. He undertook rabbinical studies which allowed him to make numerous trips to Rome, Antwerp and Munich. Only in 1843, the young man decided to interrupt his religious studies to go to Paris to study painting with Charles Gleyre and Paul Delaroche.
In 1852, Ferdinand Heilbuth participated for the first time in the Salon des Artistes Français where he presented historical works of romantic inspiration as well as portraits. He drew his inspiration from religious scenes in which he liked to depict cardinals. His paintings, such as The Cup at the Court of Ferrara, were highly appreciated by the public and praised by the critics. He obtained his first medal in 1857, and received the Legion of Honor in 1861.
From 1868 onwards, the artist turned to landscape painting and exhibited at the Salon Au bord de l'eau a work that contrasted in every way with his previous inspirations. This was a major turning point in Ferdinand Heilbuth's painting: the artist was looking for a lighter palette and a more bucolic style. He frequented the dance halls along the Seine and became friends with Sisley, Monet and also Manet. Manet had a great influence on the artist, especially in his search for light tones.
This mobile artist, preoccupied by his art, moved to London during the 1870 war. During this period he observed Turner's style, and produced numerous views of the Thames which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1871.
He returned to France in 1878 and obtained French nationality. His style was oriented towards the expression of light and atmospheric variations, and he painted mainly on the banks of the Seine. These paintings perfectly illustrate the artist's desire to respect the themes of Impressionism without totally following its precepts. Indeed, he marks his difference with the impressionists by keeping his status of observer which allows him to transcribe the observed subjects on the spot.