Charles Despiau

Miss Schulte

1934

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Not on display

Artist
Charles Despiau 1874–1946
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
Object: 505 × 451 × 349 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Art Fund 1938
Reference
N04932

Display caption

The sitter was an American painter, Antoinette Schulte, who studied art in New York, Paris and Spain. She is known for her still lifes, landscapes and portraits, particularly of children, and there is work by her in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Miss Schulte sat to Despiau for about a month on the terrace of his summer house at Hossegor, near Bayonne, France. She posed daily for periods ranging from half an hour to three hours. When the sculpture was finished, Antoinette Schulte painted a portrait of Despiau.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Charles Despiau 1874-1946

N04932 Miss Antoinette Schulte 1934

Inscribed 'C. Despiau' on back of shoulder, r.; founder's stamp 'CIRE | C. VALSUANI | PERDUE' on back, near centre
Bronze, 20 x 17 3/8 x 11 1/2 (50.8 x 44.2 x 29.3) on wooden base
Presented by the National Art-Collections Fund 1938
Prov: NACF (purchased from the artist through Wildenstein Gallery 1938)
Exh: Sculpture by Despiau, Wildenstein Gallery, London, June-July 1938 (11); RSA, Edinburgh, April-September 1966 (65)
Lit: Walter Gordon, 'Despiau Portrait goes to Buffalo' in Art News, XXXIII, 11 May 1935, p.3, original plaster repr.; Andrew C. Ritchie (ed.), Catalogue of Contemporary Paintings and Sculpture: Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo (Buffalo 1949), p.178, original plaster repr. p.179
Repr: L'Art Vivant, No.195, July-August 1935, p.160 (a different cast, exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries); NACF: Thirty-Fifth Annual Report, 1938 (London 1939), p.37

The sitter is Antoinette Schulte, the American painter, who has worked much in France. Born in New York in 1897, the daughter of a well-known financier, she studied painting at the Art Students League in New York, the Académie Colarossi in Paris, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, and finally in Spain with the portraitist Lopez Mesquita. She is chiefly noted for still lifes, landscapes and portraits, especially of children, and is represented in the collections of the City of Paris, Musée d'Algiers, etc., and the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

Miss Schulte wrote on 22 August 1953 that after meeting Despiau, whose work she had always greatly admired, it was agreed that she would pose for him at his summer house at Hossegor, near Bayonne. Sittings began there on the terrace in August 1934 and continued almost daily for periods of from half an hour to three hours for about a month. Miss Schulte afterwards painted Despiau, Dufresne and Segonzac, who in turn helped her to have her first Paris exhibition.

According to Walter Gordon, writing early in 1935, the portrait was completed between June and September 1934 (which is slightly different from the dates given above), and Miss Schulte sat for Despiau at the sculptor's request.

Miss Schulte presented her own bronze cast, which is inscribed '1-épreuve', to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1962. Only two other bronzes appear to have been made, this one and one in the Konstmuseet, Gothenburg. Though there was some project to make a further bronze for the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, this was never realised, probably for financial reasons. The original plaster now belongs to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, and there are two further plasters in the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris (given by Mme Despiau in 1960), and one each in the Newark Museum, New Jersey (given by Miss Schulte), a New York private collection and in Miss Schulte's studio in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.169-70, reproduced p.169

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