LOUIS WELDEN HAWKINS, Fleurs d’ail
This marvellously understated painting is a lovely example of the work of Louis Welden Hawkins. He’s a hard to classify and often contradictory artist. A close associate of Socialists, Anarchists and Trade Unionists, he exhibited with the Sale de la Rose+Croix who dealt with religious themes in the visual language of Symbolism. Indeed many of Hawkins’ paintings were neither directly religious or traditionally symbolist, but more often a fusion of these with Impressionism – a corner of a garden glimpsed from an oblique angle, or the edge of a building seen through bare branches, infused with a rarefied spirituality.
Hawkins was a confirmed internationalist: born near Stuttgart in Germany, his mother Baroness von Welden was Austrian and his father a British naval officer; he lived in France from about 1870 and in 1895 he took French citizenship; and soon after he married an Italian, Raffaela Zeppa. While few national collections can lay claim to his works, Hawkins is one of those relatively little-known artists who is held in disproportionately high regard by museums and serious collectors. In 1992 the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam purchased two of his paintings and then, in the following year, mounted a retrospective of his works in the museum. At about that same time we sold an atmospheric garden scene by Hawkins to the late Paul Josefowitz, publisher of Apollo and one of the most discerning art collectors of the late 20th century.
LOUIS WELDEN HAWKINS (French 1849-1910)
Signed & inscribed
Oil on canvas
15 x 18 in / 38 x 46 cm
Mme Mally (the artist’s doctor), France;
Private collection, France (by descent from the above);
Private collection, Belgium