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Telephone: 0131 226 6932 or 0845 388 5879
46 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3NH, Scotland

Biography and current catalogue for

Julius Le Blanc Stewart, J le B. (1855 -1919) 

Son of a noted collector, William H. Stewart of Philadelphia, Julius Stewart studied in Paris with Jean Leon Gerome, Eduardo Zamacois and Raimundo de Madrazo. A cosmopolitan figure, at ease in Europe and America, he became known as a fashionable portraitist to the wealthy and the aristocracy, as well as American expatriates. He was also in demand for his lavish and complex group portraits, especially of women. Also produced, less successfully, nymphs and nudes in sylvan settings.

An example of his work is held in the Jeu de Paume in Paris as well as museums in America, including the Detroit Institute, Telfair Museum Georgia, Los Angeles County Museum, Phoenix Museum Arizona, and Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

We bought this strange portrait at Sothebys in London on 25th February 1998, Lot 440. At that time, the elegant young lady appeared to be examining an open box from which spilled a cornucopia of fine jewels. On having the picture restored, it was found that the box and some of the jewels were overpainted. The overpainting, which is not recent, was partially removed to reveal that she was originally holding a human skull, from which jewels cascaded.