ANTONIO ORTIZ-ECHAGÜE (Spanish, 1883-1942)

ANTONIO ORTIZ-ECHAGÜE (Spanish, 1883-1942)

Portrait of Celeste DeLongpre Hecksher

signed Ortiz Echague/1917 lower left and inscribed Telefuno Opera verso and Mrs. C.D. Heckscher 14 East 60th Street on the stretcher bar--oil on canvas
60 x 40in. (152.5 x 101.5cm.)

Lot Essay

Antonio Ortiz-Echagüe is recognized as one of Spain's most prominent artists of the early 20th century. He studied under Villegas in Madirid and later under Laurens, Constant, and Bonnat in Paris. Decorated with numerous honors, he was the recipient of: the 1904 Prix de Rome, the silver medal in the 1921 Salon des Société des Artistes Français, the gold medal in the 1923 Paris Salon and the first prize in the 1924 Madrid Salon. In 1926 he exhibited in the "Sociedad Amigos del Arte" in Madrid along with Zuloaga, Sorolla, Beltran and Zubiaurre. His 1917 virtuoso portrait of Celeste De Longpre Heckscher was commissioned at the height of Mrs. Heckscher's career as a composer and during a period of building recognition for his works as a portraitist. It is executed with his characteristic bold brushstroke and colorist palatte.

Celeste De Longpre Heckscher was a leading figure of New York and Philadelphia's cultural elite at the turn of the century. Born in 1860 to a prominent family, she was the daughter of Julia Whitney Pratt and Robert Valentine Massey, the chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Her grandfather was the painter Louis De Longpre. She married John Austin Stevens Heckscher and had one son by him, Tobert Valentin Heckscher, who was a highly regarded poet in his own lifetime. A woman of remarkable accomplishments, she was a noted composer who studied under Zerdahal, Lang and Leps. Her compositions were widely performed by such orchestras as the New York Symphony Orchestra, and her opera of three acts, "Rose of Destiny" was performed in 1918, the year after the portrait was commissioned.