art · life curation

A Love Affair with Jean-Leon Gerome, Part 2

In my previous post about Jean-Leon Gerome, I talked about how I first became acquainted with his work, and the impression that painting left on me. To date, I don’t think there is any other painting that moved me to the point of researching the painter so that I could know more about the genius that created it.

As I go forward in pursuing my art interests, I’m fascinated by the prospect of one day owning a Gerome painting for my own collection. Or, perhaps I’ll help popularize an artist that has a similar gift, deftly portraying people of color while effectively communicating the subjects’ humanity.

I am excited to announce that a painting attributed to Jean-Leon Gerome will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on February 1, 2018. While I won’t be bidding on it, I’m excited to see what comes of it. Will the buyer put it into his or her private collection, or will it become part of a museum exhibit in the style of the Salvator Mundi that sent the art world into a tizzy?

Only time will tell, but in the meantime, here’s the painting offered by Sotheby’s. The Portrait Study of Giacomo Orlandi di Subiaco (c 1843) has many Gerome-esque attributes.

Screenshot 2018-01-06 at 4.52.32 PM - Edited

For starters, this portrait features the dark background and “candlelit” lighting that Gerome favored. The subject himself, with his tanned skin, dark, curly hair, and expressive eyes, is captured in similar fashion as other Gerome subjects. The painting didn’t attempt to “perfect” the subject by putting him in fine regalia or making his nose more aquiline: Gerome’s affinity for realism is present in this photo. The painting looks like someone that you may run into on the streets of Rome, in the midst of running his daily errands.

I am eager to see what happens with this painting. I only have to wait a few more days until the auction: I can’t wait!

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