The Love Letter, 1904 by Eugene de Blaas (Austrian, 1843 - 1931)
Eugene de Blaas
Austrian, 1843 - 1931

The Love Letter

Oil on canvas mounted on masonite
35 x 46 inches (88.9 x 116.84 centimeters)

Signed and dated lower right: Eug. de Blaas 1904

Eugene de Blaas (Austrian, 1843 - 1931)

Eugene de Blaas was born July 24, 1843 at Albano, near Rome, to Austrian parents. His father, Karl (1815-1894), was one of the most notable portrait painters of Roman society. He became teacher to Eugene and his brother Julius (b.1845), eventually taking a position as a professor at the Academy in Vienna and Venice, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was in Venice that Eugene de Blaas established himself as the leading painter of Venetian genre. Venice had been an essential stop on the Grand Tour since the early eighteenth century. Past visitors had returned home with views and portraits and the late-nineteenth century visitor wanted more. The affluent Venetian visitor wanted human interest, a sense of life by the canals and campos of the city, and as a result a school of artists developed to supply this market. Native Italian artists like Antonio Paolettu, Antonio Rotta and de Blaas, as well as Englishmen such as Luke Fildes and William Logsdail depicted the lives of Venetian fisher folk, gondoliers and Venetian beauties.

Between 1875 and 1891 de Blaas exhibited twelve works at the Royal Academy in London. By 1885 the London art dealer Arthur Tooth & Son represented de Blaas for a short time before he moved to the rival dealer T. MacLean in 1886.

Selected Museum Collections:
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, UK; Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, UK; Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria; New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, UK; Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery; Rossendale Museum, Rawtenstall, UK; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust; Fylde Borough Council;

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