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Antonio de La Gándara (16 December 1861 –30 June 1917) was a French painter, pastellist and draughtsman. La Gándara was born in Paris, France, but his father was of Spanish ancestry, born in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and his mother was from England. La Gándara's talent was strongly influenced by both cultures. At only 15 years of age, La Gándara was admitted as a student of Jean-Léon Gérôme and Cabanel at the École des Beaux-Arts . Soon, he was recognized by the jury of the 1883 Salon des Champs-Élysées , who singled out the first work he ever exhibited: a portrait of Saint Sebastian.
Less than ten years later, young La Gándara had become one of the favourite artists of the Paris elite. His models included Countess Greffulhe, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg, the Princess of Chimay, the Prince de Polignac, the Prince de Sagan, Charles Leconte de Lisle, Paul Verlaine, Leonor Uriburu de Anchorena, Sarah Bernhardt, Romaine Brooks, Jean Moreas, Winnaretta Singer, and Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau (seen below, and more famously portrayed by John Singer Sargent in his painting Madame X ). Influenced by Chardin, his skill is demonstrated in his portraits, in a simplicity with the finest detail, or in the serenity of his scenes of the bridges, parks, and streets of Paris.
Gandara illustrated a small number of publications, including Les Danaïdes by Camille Mauclair. With James McNeill Whistler, Jean-Louis Forain, and Yamamoto, La Gándara illustrated Les Chauves-Souris ("The Bats") by the French poet Robert de Montesquiou. The book, published in 1893, has become a rare collector's item. The first exhibition of La Gándara's work organised in New York by Durand-Ruel in 1898 was a major success and confirmed the painter as one of the masters of his time. Major newspapers and magazines routinely reproduced his portraits, several of which made the front page of publications like the fashionable Le Figaro magazine. Gandara participated in the most important exhibitions in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Dresden, Barcelona and Saragossa.
La Gándara died on 30 June 1917, and was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. Although his fame faded rapidly after his death, growing interest in the 20th century saw him regain popularity as a key witness to the art of his time, not only through his canvases, but also as the model chosen by the novelists Jean Lorrain and Marcel Proust, and through the anecdotes of his own life narrated by Edmond de Goncourt, Georges-Michel, and Montesquiou.
On 3 November 2018, a major retrospective opened for four months at the Musée Lambinet in Versailles, bringing together more than one hundred works by the painter as well as many documents. The exhibition curator was Xavier Mathieu.
A novel was published by the Editions L'Harmattan in 2016 that treats La Gándara's life: Antonio de La Gandara – The Gentleman painter of the Belle Epoque.
Reynaldo Hahn was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic, diarist, theatre director, and salon singer. Best known as a composer of songs, he wrote in the French classical tradition of the mélodie.
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Jean Dara (1862–1944) was the stage name of the actor Edouard de La Gandara, brother of painter Antonio de La Gandara.
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Events from the year 1861 in art.
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George Barbu Știrbei or Știrbeiŭ, also known as Gheorghe, Georgie, or Iorgu Știrbei, was a Wallachian-born Romanian aristocrat and politician who served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from July 15, 1866 until February 21, 1867. He was the eldest son of Barbu Dimitrie Știrbei, Prince of Wallachia, and the nephew of his rival, Gheorghe Bibescu; his younger siblings included the landowner and industrialist Alexandru B. Știrbei. Educated in France, he returned to Wallachia during his father's princely mandate, as a Beizadea and aspiring politician. Fleeing his country during the Crimean War, he served the French Empire before returning home to become Wallachian Minister of War and Spatharios. He is remembered for reforming the Wallachian militia during the remainder of Prince Barbu's term.
Marie Joseph Robert Anatole, Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac , was a French aesthete, Symbolist poet, art collector and dandy. He is reputed to have been the inspiration both for Jean des Esseintes in Joris-Karl Huysmans' À rebours (1884) and, most famously, for the Baron de Charlus in Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (1913–1927).
Alfredo Müller was a Franco-Italian painter and printmaker of Swiss nationality. As a painter from Livorno, he might have belonged to the group of the Postmacchiaioli, together with Mario Puccini, Oscar Ghiglia, Plinio Nomellini, Ulvi Liegi, Giovanni Bartolena, and others, but he is a disciple of the Florentine portraitist Michele Gordigiani. As a French engraver, he was close to Francis Jourdain, Manuel Robbe, Richard Ranft, Eugène Delâtre, Théophile Steinlen.
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Nicolae Orval Gropeanu or, in French, Nicolas Gropeano was a Romanian painter, pastelist and illustrator; probably of Jewish ancestry. He is known primarily for genre scenes, portraits and figures. Other variations on his name as it appears in official documents include Nicolae Gropper, Naia Groper and Noah Gropper.
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