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Robert Frederick Blum (1857-1903)
Robert Frederick Blum (1857-1903)

Venetian Lace Makers

Robert Frederick Blum (1857-1903) Venetian Lace Makers signed 'Blum' (lower left) oil on panel 8½ x 6¼ in. (21.6 x 15.9 cm.)
Private collection, New York.
By descent to the present owner.

Lot Essay

Picturesque images of women engaged in local crafts of the Veneto region became popular in the 1870s and 1880s among numerous nineteenth-century American avant-garde painters, including James McNeill Whistler, William Merritt Chase and John Singer Sargent. Like his contemporaries, Robert Blum depicted attractive young Italian women arranged within spacious rooms of Venetian palaces or seated outdoors in the brilliant sunshine. Having first traveled to Venice in 1880, he became acquainted with the subject of lace makers several years later, while traveling to Burano in the summer of 1885. These skillful young women and the intricacy of their work captivated Blum and inspired some of his greatest works such as Venetian Lace Makers (1885-86, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio).

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