Artists (G-L) Illustrating Boys' Fashions



Figure 1.--'The Blue Boy' as painted by Sir Thomas Gainsborough is one of the most instantly recognizeable portraits in the history of art. While painted in the 18th Century, it portrays a Cavalier boy in 17th Century dress.

These artists are primarily important because of the portraits they have left us contemporaty children. Some information is alsoavailable on how they or their children were dressed. Some of the most important artists providing information on boys' fashions in different countries include the following:

Gainsborough, Thomas (England, 1727-88): Thomas Gainsborough, the son of a schoolteacher, was born in Sudbury in 1727. As a child he copied famous paintings and at the age of 14 was sent to London where he trained under Hubert Gravelot. In 1745 Gainsborough married Margaret Burr, the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, and established himself as a painter at Ipswich. He developed the subject-matter of small portrait groups, set in a realistic landscape. Two his most famous portraits are The Blue Boy (1770) and Pink Boy (17??). The boys, one a relative of Gainsbourough, were painted in elaborate satin and lace costumes of the previous century. His early works show the influence of French engraving and of Dutch landscape painting; at Bath his change of portrait style owed much to a close study of van Dyck (his admiration is most clear in The Blue Boy. In 1774 Gainsborough moved to London where he became a foundation member of the Royal Academy. However, had several disagreements with the Academy about the selection of his paintings and refused to exhibit there after 1784. By the 1780s Gainsborough and his rivals, Joshua Reynolds and Allan Ramsay, were considered to be the best portrait painters in England. All three painted George III but it was claimed that the royal family preferred Gainsborough's portraits.

Gauguin, (Eugene Henri) Paul (France, 1848-1903): Gauguin was one of the firemost painters of the Post-impressionist movement. He was born in Paris. His father was a journalist from Orleans. His mother was partly Peruvian. He had a cosmopolitan childhood, growing up in Lima, Orleand, and Paris. He was a seaman, served in the French Navy during the Franco-Prussian War, and worked as a stock broaker and successful back agent. He did not begin to aint until 1873 after his nairrage. He exibited his first work in 1876 and begun to revolutionize modern art. I only know one boy he painted, the son of a friend, but it is a wonderful piece.

Geefs, Adrien (Belgium, turn of the 20th century): We note Belgian artist Adrien Geefs painting portraits at the turn of the 20th century. One was a portrait of an unidentified boy in a wide-brimmed sailor hat painted in 1898. We have been unable to find any biograpgical information about the artist.

Goetze, Sigismund Charles Herbert (England/U.S., 1866-1939): We note some wonderful realistic paintings by Sigismund Charles Herbert Goetze. They seem romantic Victorian in style, but his career extended well into the 20th century. We have been unable to find much information about him. We are not even sure if he is American or English. We note he made a major contribution to Regent's park in London. One of his most famous portrairs is of a French boy in a white smock.

Gosselin, Andree (France, ??): We note a charcoal portrait done by Andree Gosselin. We know nothing about the artist at this time. The portrait is of a little boy, possibly a Jewish boy. He wears all white, including a white Balmoral-like tam with a blue pom.

Goya y Lucientes, Francisco Jose de (Spain, 1746-1828): Goya is along with El Greco and Velasquez, is one of the three great pillers of Spanish art. Goya addressed many different genres and styles. He was the court painter to Charles IV. He is widely known for his portraits of Spanish nobility, including boys, but he also painted many accomplished scenes of moderm life.

Greuze, Jean-Baptiste (France, 1725-1805): Jean Baptiste Greuze was a French genre and portrait painter. Greuze was an eminent portraitist. Among his most famous portraits are those of the Dauphin, the ilfated son of King Louis XVI, Robespierre, Napoleon, as well as numerous political and artistic figures. Few portraists painted such a diverse list of subjects. Some of his most striking portraits are the heads of nonamous children and young women.

Gutmann, Bernhard (Germany/America, (1869-1936): Gutmann creates beautiful paintings using the palette of an Impressionist, brilliant colors laid down in the bold and broad brush strokes of the Post-Impressionists. Some of his works include children in depictions of everyday life.

Hals, Frans (Dutch, 1582/1583-1666): We notice some charming domestic genre paintings by Dutch painter Frans Hals which show the clothuing worn by children in the 17th century in some detail. Hals was born in Antwerp and his parents were Flemish. They moved Holland after the Spanish seized the city in 1585. His parents had decided to settled in Haarlem by 1591. IKt was there that Frans grew up and persued his career. He married twice and had ten, perhaps more children. Many of his portraits of lace trimmed gentry remind one of Van Dyck.

Hansen, C. (Denmark, turn of the 20th century): C. Hansen was a Danish artist. We know nothing about him, but note a portrait of a boy with cropped hair in a kind of dress or tunic outfit. Hansen painted it in 1896.

Hardenstedt, Harrison (United States, early 20th century): Here we are not sure about the artist. The name on the front of a minature we have found appears to read Harrison Hardenstedt. These appear to be the artist's name and the boy he painted, but we cannot be sure about this. The miature painting shows the collar of an American sailor suit in 1907.

Haslund, Otto (Denmark, 1842-1917): Otto Haslund is a respected Danish artist. He won a varierty of medals for his work and vecame a professor in the Royal Danish academy of Art. We note a 1904 portrait of presumably a Danish boy who looks to be wearing an Eron collar with a large white bow.

Hersent, Louis (France, 1977-1860): French artist and printmaker Louis Hersent painted some wonderful portraits in the early and mid-19th century, including some charming portraits of children. Louis had parents who supported his youthful interest in art. He was an academic painter and is best known for his historical and classical depictions. His mixed genre paintins, neither history nor daily life, was popular with the new of aristocracy of Napoleon's First Empire.

Hogarth, William: (England, 1697-1763): William Hogarth is one of the most respected British Artists. He was both an engraver and painter. He aprenticed as a silversmith. After finishing his aprenticeship he began working as an engraver and later turned to painting. His images are some of the most vivid images painted of 18th century England, provide wonderful glimpses of the family life as well as contemporary manners and custims. His detiled images provide extremely accurate depictions of fashins and clothing.

Holmes, James (England, 1777-1860): James Holmes is best known for his portraits of Byron in 1815 and a splendid one of George IV, completed in 1828. Holmes was also the founder and first President of the Society of British Artists. We note a splendid water color on ivory that was exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1840. We do no know the identity of the boy.

Jenkins, Thomas (1722-98): We have very limited information on this painter. We know only that he was a painter, art dealer and banker in Rome. One portait shows a boy plying a chello or similar instrumnt dressed in a tightly laced dress.

Jirasek, A. (Austria, 1863- ): A. Jirasek was an Austrian painter best known for landsacpes and genre paitings. He was a student of Anton Schrödl. We know little more about him. We note one portrait he painted of a boys with bangs and a ruffled collar. The portrait is undated, but looks to have been painted about the turn of the 20th century.

Johnson, Joshua (United States, 1763-1830s?): Joshua Johnson was the first black American artist. His mother was a slave and his father a white man who then purchased the boy from his owner. He was raised a "free man of color" in Maryland. He painred many portraits of wealthy people and their families in Maryland in the early 19th century. He received no academic training and advertised himself as a "self-taught genius.

Kent Stoddard, Alice (United States, 1930s): We know little about Alice Kent Stoddard. At this time. We believe she is American. We have one image of her work, "Portrait of Boy", an oil on canvas of David Krumbhaar, painted in Windsor. I'm not sure just where Winsor is, perhaps Ontario in Canada. The portrait was done in 1936.

Klimt, Gutav (Austria, 1862–1918): Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most highly regarded of Austria's modern artists. He came from an artistic family. His father was a gold engraver, leaving Gustaf with fascination for gold. He was the best known figure in the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt produced paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. His primary focus was the female body through all his media and stylistic phases. Among his paintings are boh allegories and portraits--sometimes in the samne work. He painted buildings and landscapes, but is best known for his n symbolist portraits. A strong Japanese influence can be see in his major works. As a young artist, he was a conventional and successful painter of architectural decorations. As he moved toward portaiture and expressed a more personal style, his work began to generate controvery which is why so many were held in private hands. Klimt completed sucessfuly for the prestigious commission to paint the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. The result was criticized as pornographic. (They would eventully be destoyed by the NAZIs.) As a result of the criticism, Klimt declined any further public commissions. Even so, he achieved even more aclaim with his Golden Phase (using gold leaf) which were purchased by individual collectors. As Klimt's focus was the female body, his work is not of great interest to HBC, but there is one magnificent work on motherhood (figure 1). There is also a connection with World War II and the Holocaust. Because of the controversy with his work, Austrian museums declined to purchase his paintings. His ilimitimate son Gustav Ucicky made anti-Semitic films for the NAZIs. The Austrian National Gallery acquired five of Klint's paintings as a result of the NAZI theft of art owned by Jewish families. This included the portrait of a Jewish society woman (Adele Bloch-Baue), now known as the woman in gold. The Museum had no second thoughts about how the paintings were acquired, but were eventually forced to return the paintings to the heir of the victimized family. This whole incident was made into a Hollywood movie -- of course 'Woman in Gold'.

Landseer, Sir Edwin (England, 1802-73): Edwin Landseer was an English artist notable for his paintings of animals. Landseer was born in London. His father was John Landseer ARA. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1815. He was only 13 years old, one of the youngest artists ever to exhibit at the Royal Academy. He was elected ARA in 1826 and RA in 1831. He was knighted in 1850 and was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1855. Landseer was elected President of the Royal Academy in 1866, but declined the honor. While known for his animal portrait, we note a charming portrait of a brother and sister.

Larsson, Karl (Sweeden, 18??-19??): Carl Larsson isone of the greatest artists who have painted children. Bergman films seem to recreate the ambience that Larsson painted. I know little bout his artistic career at this time, but I do note several beautiful portraits of children with detailed illustrations of period clothing.

Lauchert, Richard (France, 1823-68): Lauchret was reportedly born in Sigmaringen. The Crown Princess Victoria arranged that Richard Lauchert, who had also studied in Munich and whose work at various German courts had included portraits of the her uncle, Prince Albert's elder brother and his wife, should paint the beautiful young Princess of Wales, her brother Bertie's wife. This was the first in a set of portraits, to hang at Windsor, of the Queen's daughters-in-law. Lauchert also initiated, with his portrait of the Crown Princess's eldest daughter, the series of portraits of the Queen's grandchildren, a series in which a number of German painters were to be employed. He maried Amalie Adelheid v.Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1821-1902). She probably helped him make contacts with the royals. that is probably how he got his assignments with the royals.

Lawerson, Dorothy (England, early 20th century): Dorothy Lawerson painted an image of an English school boy, complete with cap and backback. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1936. We have no information, however, about Laweson at this time.


Figure 3.--Classic skeleton suits at the turn of the century were commonly worn with large, open-necked ruffled collars. This 1805 painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence shows the Fluyden children. The pose suggests the child at the left is a girl, but boys of that age would be dressed identically with their sisters. Notice that the boy in the middle wears a long pants skeleton suit. His father probably wore knee breeches.
Lawrence, Sir Thomas (England, 1769-1830): Famed portrait painter born in Bristol. He entered the Royal Academy as a student in 1787 and exhibited a number of paintings in his first year. He won recognition for his portrait of Miss Farren, an actress. He beccame the fashionable prtrait painter of his day, and on the death of Sir. Joshua Reynolds in 1792, he was made principal painter to King George III, who knighted him in 1815. He was made a Royal Academician in 1794 and served as preident of the academy fromj 1820-30. Lawrence was a brilliant stylist and technician; his portraits were marked by a taste and elegance that let an air of distinction to his subjects. His portrait of Mrs. Simmons is one of his most highly regarded portraits. Other brilliant works included Princess Lieven and Cardinal Gonsalvi. Lawrence is especially noted for his children's portraits for which he was unsurpassed in his day. These portraits are a rich source of information on fashionable children's wear of the day. His portrait of The Calmady Children is generally regarded as his masterpiece of this genre. Larence, Gainsborough, and Reynolds represent the apex of distinctive English portrait painters.

Lester, William Lewis (American, 1910-91): William Lewis Lester was a painter and and art teacher. He was leader in the development of a Texas Regionalist style. During the Depression he was a staff artist with the Civilian Conservation Corps. He taught art at the University of Texas at Austin for 30 years. Grafually he acquired an abstract appraoch. His subject matter included landscapes, buildings, and people. He exhibited widely and many museums both in Texas and outside the state have his works in their collection. We have noted a 1964 portrait of "A boy with a guitar". The boy seeems to show Texas' Hispanic heritage.

Luks, George (America, 1866-1933): George Luks is associated with the Ashcan School. Portraits of urban city types were a favorite subject for painters of the Ashcan School. Luks painted many studies of street characters, often holding or playing with animals. Luks often dealt with his subjects with seeminly brusque techniques. He tirelessly walked the streets of the city in searching of motivationa and subjects. He saw beauty and nobility in what others saw a squalor and ugliness. He had a particular fondness for scenes featuring street urchins, whom he depicted with enormous charm and spontaneity.








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Created: February 29, 1999
Last updated: 6:58 PM 12/18/2015