This rhythmical 20th-century portrait by Swedish artist, Jules Schyl (1893-1977), depicts a lady in a state of cat bliss. She cradles the creature with both arms while raising a smirk. They share an expression. Her home is decorated in bold striking hues and on her wall, we see a bright still life with flowers.
Inspired by the French post-impressionists, Schyl painted this way for most of his career. His works are imbued with feeling, quick dashes and flicks to create a mood, whilst retaining a sense of the artist’s own emotion. He’s painting more than a scene - every work is a self-portrait.
The painting is signed in the top right and originally described by an auction house as dating to 1947. However, after closer inspection, it’s probably 1977 - the year of his death. If this is the case, it’s one of his final works and thus, quite poignant. Perhaps he knew this woman personally? How did she feel about the portrayal of her muscular arms?
Signed/dated in the top right and framed.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 17½” x 22” / 44cm x 56cm
Year of creation: c. 1977
Condition: Artwork presents well.
Artist’s auction highlight: £7,547 achieved for an oil painting in 2014.