Reserved - Henri Mathy, Portrait Of A Woman In A Red Skirt

Reserved - Henri Mathy, Portrait Of A Woman In A Red Skirt

An early 20th-century full-length portrait of a lady wearing a red skirt and top. The artist, Henri Mathy (1897-1978), has used bold brushwork and impasto to give the figure a striking appearance.

As a young man, Mathy fought in the First World War and drew many landscapes from the fields at Flanders. Like many artists sent to war, his artistry provided a brief moment of escape from the mud, terror and drudgery.

Following the war, he continued to hone his skills and became influenced by the Belgian painter, Eugène Laermans (1864-1940). Laermans work tended to focus on downtrodden labourers toiling hard within rural settings.

Mathy’s interest in the working classes took him to Brabant (the home of Vincent Van Gogh) where he created colourful compositions in thick impasto - often depicting field workers. Undoubtedly, Vincent would’ve been close to his heart as the area of Brabant is enriched with his legacy.

In 1929, when this piece was created, Mathy had his first solo exhibition, which was held at the New Gallery in Paris.

The painting is signed/dated in the lower left and housed within a simple wooden frame that’s possibly its original.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 18” x 23½” / 46cm x 60cm
Year of creation: 1929
Provenance: France
Condition: Overall the canvas is in good condition. The paint has been applied thickly with areas of impasto. Frame with some wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £1,488 achieved at an auction in Belgium for ”Le Bêcheur” in 2009.

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