Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: Pastel Portrait of Vincent van Gogh
Medium: pastel on cardboard
Dimensions 54 × 45 cm (21.26 × 17.72 in)
Current location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The Chorus, which dates from 1877, is a work in bright pastels portraying a row of male choir singers on stage. The paintings has been stolen at the beginning of 2010, and there is no news about it being retrieved. The Musee d’Orsay had loaned “The Chorus” to a gallery in Marseilles, France for an exhibition on the work of Edgar Degas. Musee d’Orsay in Paris valued it at €800,000, correcting an estimate given by local police that it was worth some €30 million. Therefore if you see it while you visit some of your art collector friends, please let us know 🙂
During my recent visit to famous Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy, among the old masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Tiziano, Botticelli, I found one pastel jewel – the Rosalba Carriera pastel portrait of “Felicita Sartori”. It is in a very good shape and the colors are still brilliant, unlike many other oil and tempera works in the museum. Next to that painting one can find couple of oil paintings by the pastel masters that were already presented on this blog – Jean-Etienne Liotard and Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.
This is the portrait of Mary Cassatt made by Eduard Degas. Not much is known about Mary Cassatt’s relationship with Degas, as she burned all their correspondence before she died. However, it is generally assumed that the two were lovers, although nothing can be proved. What is certain is that the two painters had a close, sometimes turbulent, relationship over a period of forty years that ended with Degas’ death in 1917. Degas’ difficult nature often lead to periods of estrangement that could only be ended when mutual friends brought the two together again. It must have taken all Mary’s reserves of diplomacy to deal with Degas’ sometimes cruel nature.