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Antique French female portrait oil painting canvas on wood board, unsigned, but by French artist Georges Villa (1883 -1965).  This painting came from a private collection accompanied by a photograph of the artist inscribed 'To my mother who I love dearly', the photograph is included.  Georges mother was known as 'La Genéral', probably a play on titles as both her husband and son were military men.  

Georges was the youngest son of Désiré Villa and Marie Julia Florentine Perdrix (1855-1936), known as Julia. This painting appears to have been a gift from the artist to his mother, most likely in 1910.  It's wonderful when there is a known history to a painting, it somehow gives the piece character but character is something that is definitely not missing from this wonderful old atmospheric portrait.  Georges was favoured by Grand Duke Vladimir to paint his Russian Officers and you can clearly see why he was thought of as a great Portraitist. 

Julia gazes out from time, her hair tucked neatly under her fur and feathered hat, the left side of her face is in shadow, she looks firm but kind and you can almost hear her skirt rustle as she walks past...., a stunning piece of art and history on a textured canvas where the chiaroscuro play of light and dark is expertly crafted as only a master can.....


MORE ABOUT THIS PAINTING:

Medium: Oil on canvas board

Overall size: 15ins x 21.5ins or 3cms x 55cms (Approx)

Date: 1910

Signed: No, but this is a painting by Georges Émile Marie Villa (1883-1965).  Georges was a painter, engraver, lithograher and illustrator.  He was a pupil of Jules Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he won a bronze and a silver medal. He also took part in the Salon des Humouristes and the Salon des Peintres Animaliers (animal painters' exhibition) in Nancy. He was made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.  His work was part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1924 Summer Olympics.  

Villa illustrated Anatole France's Penguin Island; Roger Lallier's Par les Airs; Edgar Allan Poe's Fantastic Tales, Zola's Short Stories ( Les Contes et Nouvelles), and Georges Fourest's La négresse blonde. His main career was as a humorist but he also drew satirical scenes of animals, children and figures.

An excellent portraitist, he was invited to Russia by Grand Duke Vladimir, uncle of Tsar Nicholas II, to paint portraits of officers. In 1908 he accompanied a Russian archaeological mission to Egypt.

Georges was a Captain in the French army in the First World War (see photo) and later was a key figure in the Montmartre of the Roaring Twenties, known for his caricatures and portraits as well as his erotic drawings, whose realism was enhanced by the use of charcoal and pastel. The Musée de Montmartre holds one of his pastels, À l'intérieur du Lapin Agile.

Condition:  A delightful visual piece with imperfections throughout including small bubbling from the wood board on the lower left side.  This painting would have originally been larger and the canvas has been pasted to wood board.  The frame, from the same era has missing moulding and imperfections throughout.

This painting is sent fully insured, track and trace with Colissimo.

Antique Portrait of the artist's mother by Georges Villas (1883 - 1965)

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