Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)
THE PROPERTY OF A DECEASED'S ESTATE
Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)

Italian Peasant Girl

Details
Henry Herbert La Thangue, R.A. (1859-1929)
Italian Peasant Girl
signed 'H.H. LA THANGUE' (lower left)
oil on canvas
27½ x 22½ in. (70 x 57 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 23 February 1977, lot 65.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 15 February 1978, lot 134.
Anonymous sale; Bonham's, London, 6 August 1979, lot 193, where purchased by the present owner.

Brought to you by

Bernice Owusu
Bernice Owusu

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

As he was completing his studentship at the Royal Academy Schools, the precocious La Thangue announced his intention to embark on a further period of training in Paris. Being of exceptional promise, and the schools' gold medallist, the Academy's President, Frederic, Lord Leighton, wrote on La Thangue's behalf to Jean-Léon Gérôme, one of the chefs d'atelier, to secure him a place at the prestigious École des Beaux Arts, where he registered in January 1880. He was following the growing trend for British art students to travel to what was widely regarded as la capitale de l'art. Although he was friendly with others, such as Stanhope Forbes and Arthur Hacker, we learn from Forbes's gossipy letters that in the French capital La Thangue kept himself aloof.

During the following summers he worked in Brittany but no visits to Italy are recorded at that time. Since Italian models, posing in peasant costume, were however, frequently employed in the Paris ateliers, it is likely that the present study was executed at this point. Not only would this make it one of his earliest extant works, but it also reveals the confident alla prima painting for which he became known in later years. Comparison with the undated Nude Study (Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent) is apposite, for this early student piece shares great assurance in handling form with the present work. La Thangue's metier - the mosaic of square brushstrokes for which he was later renowned - had not yet settled, but there was in Italian Peasant Girl, sufficient evidence of his talent to single him out as one of leading young painters of his generation.
KMc.
;

More from Victorian & British Impressionist Art

View All
View All