Joseph Raphael (1869-1950) Children of the artist 55 1/2 x 59 1/4in overall: 64 x 65 5/8in (Painted circa 1925-1926)
Lot 31
Joseph Raphael
(1869-1950)
Children of the artist 55 1/2 x 59 1/4in overall: 64 x 65 5/8in
US$ 150,000 - 250,000
£110,000 - 190,000

Lot Details
Joseph Raphael (1869-1950)
Children of the artist
signed 'JOE RAPHAEL' (lower left)
oil on linen
55 1/2 x 59 1/4in
overall: 64 x 65 5/8in
Painted circa 1925-1926

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Albert M. Bender, San Francisco, California, prior to 1926.
    Gift from the above to the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California.

    Sold to benefit the Acquisition Fund of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

    Joseph Raphael was active in the Bay area during the 1890s, first as a newspaper illustrator and later as a sign painter. Like many of the artists of the time, Raphael wanted to continue his artistic education abroad. By 1903 he saved enough money to pursue studies in Paris. He attended classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian. During this Parisian interval, he supported himself by creating illustrations for a number of French magazines.

    In 1910, Raphael stayed for eight months in San Francisco, where he exhibited his predominantly figural Dutch series at the Art Association. Following his return to Laren, Holland in 1912, he married Johanna Jongkindt and moved to a small cottage in Uccle, a suburb of Brussels. It is in Uccle where Raphael seems to have settled into his 'signature' style, that of broad brushstrokes loaded with thick paint and bright colors. The bold impasto in his compositions is as thick as one finds within Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters. The artist's children, vegetable garden and home were popular scenes for Raphael.

    The present work, Children of the Artist, was likely painted in the artist's garden in Uccle. An unusually large work for Raphael, the colors are classic, brilliant Impressionist high key tones of blue, yellow and red. The artist takes great pains to captures the unique individuality in each of the children's faces. The iconic broad brush strokes dance across the canvas, giving it an ever-present liveliness. This vibrant style earned the artist the silver medal at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, where six of his canvases were displayed. Although he lived and worked in Europe for many years, Raphael always maintained close ties with the San Francisco art community and his loyal art dealer and Bay area collector Albert M. Bender, who owned Children of the Artist prior to 1926. Of the multitude of Raphael works owned and later sold by Bender, this painting remained in his personal collection for many years. Given the glorious color, scale and movement, one can easily see why.

    The present work probably represents Raphael's three youngest daughters, Johanna (Joky) with blue eyes and brown hair, at left, and the middle sisters, Elizabeth (Liesbeth) and Marie-Jeanne (Dany), at the right.

    The work is #P-316 in the Joseph Raphael Catalogue Raisonné (unpublished), compiled by Dr. Phyllis Hattis. We wish to thank Dr. Hattis for her kind assistance with the lot.
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