297 (Breeskin 312)
Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child
Alternate title(s): Mère et bébé; Mère et enfant
1898--99
Pastel on paper
28 1/2 x 21 in. (72.39 x 53.34 cm)
Inscribed lower right: Mary Cassatt
Last known when sold at Sotheby's, New York, 2006

provenance / ownership history
Ambroise Vollard, Paris
possibly with Hector Brame, Paris, dates unknown
Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 10, 1944, #13, ill., as Mère et enfant
Mr. B.
to Mr. B. sale, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, June 17, 1958, #A, ill., as Mère et enfant
possibly with Todovanikoff collection, c. 1965
possibly with [Georges] de Poplavsky, Paris, dates unknown
Sotheby's, London, April 24, 1968, #88, ill., as Mère et bébé
to DuPont
possibly to Beilin Gallery, New York, by 1970
private collection
to Christie's, New York, December 1, 1989, #180, ill.
private collection, by 1993
Christie's, New York, May 26, 1994, #86, ill.
to Gloria E. Gurney, New York
consigned by Gurney estate to Sotheby's, New York, November 29, 2006, #138, ill.

exhibition history
1993 Marmottan: #12, ill., as Mère et bébé, lent by private collection

published references
Gazette Drouot 1958a: p. 1, ill., as Mère et enfant

commentary

Philippe Brame of the firm Hector Brame, Paris, sent a photograph of Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child in a letter to Adelyn Dohme Breeskin dated November 22, 1966.[1] Brame stated that he had no additional information on the picture. Therefore, it is not known precisely where Hector Brame should appear in this provenance, or even if the work was actually owned or handled by Hector Brame or one of his descendents. It is intriguing to posit that one of the Brames might be the "Mr. B." whose collection, including Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child, was sold at Galerie Charpentier in 1958, but no evidence has emerged to support this supposition.

In a letter dated October 25, 1965, G. A. Schick wrote to Breeskin that Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child was currently in the "collection Todovanikoff (Paris)—close friends of mine," but no additional evidence has been discovered to confirm Todovanikoff's ownership.[2]

The photograph published by Breeskin in her 1970 Cassatt catalogue raisonné is annotated on the back with the information "de Poplavsky collection" in a hand other than hers. Perhaps the note refers to Georges de Poplavsky, who served as an expert for coin sales at the Hôtel Rameau, Versailles, France, in the 1960s.

Breeskin listed Beilin [misspelled as Beilen] Gallery, New York, as the buyer of Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child from the 1968 Sotheby's, London, auction in which it was sold. The buyers list, however, provides the name "DuPont," and no evidence has been located in Breeskin's files to support the Beilin ownership.

Counterproofs after this work exist.

PAI

[1] Brame did not mention this picture by name in his letter; it has been identified by Breeskin's handwritten note on the letter. Because Breeskin already had a photograph of the picture, she sent Brame's copy back to him in a letter dated November 30, 1966.

[2] The name Fred A. van Braam appears in Breeskin's provenance for Mother Louise Holding Up Her Blue-eyed Child due to a misreading of this same Schick letter. Schick was referring to Van Braam as the editor of the World Collectors Annuary, a yearly reference volume publishing auction sales results, rather than as an owner of artworks.

Nude Dark-Eyed Little Girl with Mother in Patterned Wrapper, c.1902, pastel counterproof on Japan paper, 26 x 22 in. (66 x 56 cm). (Photograph provided by Adelson Galleries, New York, N.Y.) [view all counterproofs]

 

Nude Dark-Eyed Little Girl with Mother in Patterned Wrapper, c.1902, pastel counterproof on Japan paper, 26 x 22 in. (66 x 56 cm). (Photograph provided by Adelson Galleries, New York, N.Y.) [view all counterproofs]
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