Jacques-Émile Blanche (French, 1861 - 1942), Portrait of Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz, 1890. Pastel on canvas. Collection of Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz (1860–1954), the subject of Blanche’s striking pastel portrait, was a famous beauty, muse, and patron of the arts in fin-de-siècle Europe. When Blanche painted her in his London studio, she was a young wife and mother but also a wealthy and cultured Chilean expatriate traveling frequently between Paris, Biarritz, and London. She is pictured here as elegant and modest, fashionable but tasteful, and strikingly attractive. John Singer Sargent painted her four times. She would also be portrayed by Paul Helleu, Giovanni Boldini, William Orpen, and Pablo Picasso among others.
Jacques-Émile Blanche (1861-1942) was a fashionable portraitist and the painter of choice among leading cultural figures in France and England, including Marcel Proust, Claude Debussy, Edgar Degas, James Joyce, and many others. His ambitious work in pastel during the early 1890s coincides with a growing interest in the medium by other notable French artists in that moment.
Dixon director, Kevin Sharp, remarked, “We considered a number of beautiful and interesting works before settling on Blanche’s Portrait of Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz. It has the look and feel of an object John Buchanan might have chosen. Obviously, it’s an important acquisition for the Dixon on more than one level.” The work is on view now in the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.