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Eugene de Blaas (Italy 1843‑1931)

A curious glance

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale Week 12 – 15 December 2023

Lot 693 Eugene de Blaas (Italy 1843‑1931). A curious glance. Signed and dated Eugenio de Blaas 1902 lower right. Oil on panel, 80 x 44.5 cm.

With inscription on a label: ”784”.


500.000 – 600.000 SEK
€ 44.000 – 52.000


Acquired at an auction in Milan, Italy ca. 1952 by the present owner’s father.

In context

The lovely lady is curiously scouting from the opening of the brick wall. Beautifully dressed in a lush silk dress in pink and blue tones with a rich lace shawl covering her shoulders, the scene cries for curiosity. Is she awaiting her hearts beloved, is she glancing after him with a precious spark in her eyes, or is she perhaps eavesdropping at a private conversation?

The painter Eugene de Blaas origins from an Austrian family of accomplished painters and is its most well-known member, his mother was Italian and his father a Tyroleas painter. Active in Italy during a major part of his life, he gained a reputation as an appreciated genre painter with international success. He is also known as Eugen von Blaas or Eugenio Blaas. Originally de Blaas was highly influenced in his painting by his father, Karl von Blaas, who in return was active as a portraitist, history painter, sculptor and fresco painter and was a professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Besides the studies for his father, Eugene also enrolled at the art academies of Rome and Venice and made study trips to France, Belgium and the Netherlands for further education. Eventually, Eugene himself would also follow in his father’s footsteps when he as well became a professor at the academy in Venice. During his lifetime Eugene de Blaas exhibited his paintings in many international cities, like Paris, London, Berlin, Munich, Vienna and Hamburg.

What really marks the essence of Eugene de Blaas’ artistry is his role as a pioneer of the genre paintings of the 19th century Venice in an academic classic style. The flourishing Italian city on water was truly a genuine source of inspiration with its constant spectacle on the streets and canals. The everyday life of the Venetians was captured by de Blaas early on in his career and this subject followed him throughout his life. In vividly colourful scenes we very often find the young and beautiful women of Venice in dreamlike and flirtatious situations. Often the ladies are turning their eyes away from the viewer, like in our painting, they are caught in a flickering moment that makes the scene vibrant and lively. With a great sense for every detail in his paintings, it is clearly visible that de Blaas was a very distinctive and technically skillful painter. The trees and flowers behind the wall have gained as much attention as the red bricks and grey stones of the wall, as the lady with the fan herself. Captured by the artist in a yearning moment the bright light sweeps over the everlasting beauty, reflecting on her polished face and plays along the folds and creases of the dress. The essence of a romantic moment meritoriously depicted by the sensitive hand of de Blaas.

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