-By Howard Lyon

I have done a couple posts highlights artists that might not be well known (and a couple in there that definitely are) and I thought it time to do another. I will start off with a fairly contemporary portrait artist that is very new to me…

David Jagger – 1891 – 1958

Jagger was a British artist who painted many high level politicians, royalty and celebrity.  There is a great photo of him painting Vivian Leigh.

I think the thing that stands out when looking through some of his paintings (hard to find good images) is the composition.  Simple, but strong.

I love the composition of the piece below.  The red of the feather and gloves are the perfect accents of the black silhouette against the beige curtain.  What a gorgeous portrait.

Lady With a Fan

Lots of drama and beautiful emotion in this portrait.  I am not sure if the woman is hopeful or mourning, but I is impactful.  I love her hand too.  It reminds me of Bronzino’s hands.  Great composition too.


Lady in Green

Edouard Louis Dubufe – 1819 – 1883

I include Dubufe mostly because of the painting below that I have had on my machine for a while.  I love the play of light and dark and the variety of textures.  Wonderful satins and velvets as well as beautiful skin.

Princess Mathilde

Look at how masterfully he handled the different materials, especially the gold embroidery.

Princess Mathilde – detail

More beautiful fabric rendering.  I also love the palette of the piece below.

The Turkish Coffee

Gustave Jean Jacquet – 1846 – 1909

Jacquet was one of Bouguereau’s top students.  If I had a time machine, I honestly think I would travel to 19th century France and go to art school at the Julien.  Anyways, I really love this painting below.  I can’t stop looking at it.  It is my desktop image right now.  I love how understated some of the lower elements of the painting are, keeping the high area of contrast around her face, but it is balanced nicely with the large black shape against the red dress.  The composition seems simple at first, but there is so much great work going on here.

Girl in a Riding Habit

Compare the first two images of this artist with the last two.  It is interesting to see the different styles.  Another composition built around big shapes and another beautiful hand.  Be sure to click on the image below and really give it a close look.  The file is quite large and you don’t get a feel for the bravado of the brush work at the small size.

La Coquette

I included this one for the embroidery on her stay.  I hope to see this in person some day.  The seashells look quite remarkable too.

Treasures of the Sea

The model for the painting below seems to be the same as in the painting above.  I love the richness of the colors and the masterful rendering of the gold lace against the red dress below.  The pearls are beautiful too.  Look how convincingly they reflect the skin of her chest and the perfect bits of cast shadow place them right against the skin.  These 19th century artists could sure render such a broad range of textures with such great skill.

Girl with Red Dress

Federico de Madrazo – 1815 – 1894

Federico was born in Rome and was the son of a painter.  He trained in Spain and his work was purchased by the crown, but later moved to Paris to study and received the Legion of Honor award.  His brother was a successful painter as was his son (see the last artist in this post).

The palette and drama of the piece really catch my eye.  I love all the colors in her shawl at the bottom of the painting.  Another very large image, be sure to zoom in.

Gertrudis Goméz de Avella

I love this!

More gorgeous rendering of fabric and embroidery

The painting below is a rendering of Federico’s son, Raimundo

El pintor Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, hijo del artista

Raimundo de Madrazo – 1841-1920

Son of Federico above.  All three of the paintings below are of the same model, Aline Masson.  It appears that she was by far his favorite muse when you look through the body of his work.  She was his mistress as well.

The efficient rendering of the lace on the painting below is inspiring.

Aline Masson, with a White Mantilla

The painting below is lighthearted depicting the model on break painting a funny cartoon of the artist on his canvas.  The real beauty of this painting for me, lies in how simply the dress is rendered.

Model Making Mischief

This is on par with the best of Sargent in my opinion.  Look at all that satin with embroidery gathered in and painted with the minimum of brushwork.

I will end with another one of my favorites.  I love the expression and beauty of this painting.  The surface looks rich and full of texture and it feels as if a real moment were captured

The Model Aline Masson

Take a close look at her ear.  I also love how her eyelashes are catching the light.  You can really feel the structure of the nose and painting a smile, with teeth, can be really tricky, but he hits it perfectly.  The model reminds me of Marion Cotillard quite a bit, don’t you think?

The Model Aline Masson – detail

Thank you for giving this post a read.  I hope you found some new artists, or enjoyed images from some artists you are already familiar.

On a side note, I started a new Instagram account just for sharing great art and illustration that I find.  I will include some of the big names, but try to dig around and focus on those artists that might be lesser known.  If you are in Instagram, come follow this new account and let me know if there is an artist that you think I should be featuring! You can check it out here:  Best Art Illustration

Thanks for giving this post a read!