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Hans Christiansen / Addison Le Boutillier Original Art

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B: Glamour girls27 of 29Eric Stanton Vintage Sleaze Paperback Books collection Jim LindermanBeautiful Bronze Nude
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    Posted 12 years ago

    (124 items)

    This original gouache and graphite illustration is a bit of a mystery. Attributed to Hans Christiansen, yet double signed on the back "Boutillier." Dimensions: 19.5" x 16"

    The piece does not have Christiansen's characteristic initials mark on the front, but that does not necessarily exclude it being by his hand as some known illustrations in his published catalogue raisonné are also unsigned/unmarked. Additionally, the rendering of the figure and subject matter of a tasteful, if not coy, nude with her back to the viewer is a recurring theme in Christiansen's decorative works.

    Now, as to the back, which is double signed, "Boutillier." This presents three distinct possibilities: 1.) the piece is titled, "Boutillier," which is French for "cupbearer"; 2.) the illustration is actually by Addison Le Boutillier, a famed illustrator and designer most notably for Grueby Pottery at the turn-of-the-century; or 3.) the piece is by Christiansen but was in Boutillier's (or someone with that last name's) collection/estate. Possibilities #2 and #3 are bolstered by the fact that the piece was bought at auction in Boston, where Le Boutillier lived and worked for the majority of his professional life.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    1. cogito cogito, 12 years ago
      Thanks, Bellin. I was attracted to her beauty...but it was the mystery that got me!
    2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 12 years ago
      Hi cogito!
      Have you seen this page?

      The top left portrait is one of his wife. There are a whole series of them actually!

      I also saw a gouache sketch of his wife Claire, nee Guggenheim.

      It might be just a coincidence but I can see Claire in your illustration too!
    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 12 years ago
      Interesting word "boutillier" too .... Butler comes from it.

      An aside, an A. Boutillier had a Parisian printing firm that specialized in Hotel Labels at the "turn of the century" with an art nouveau look.
    4. cogito cogito, 12 years ago
      Thanks for the research, Vetraio! I can always count on you for pointers.

      I hadn't found the Christiansen collection materials, so those are quite helpful. I did see the Parisian hotel label maker and considered it, but the composition and size of this piece doesn't suggest it was intended for advertisement. And, if it were it certainly would have been a hotel of questionable repute! ;)

      I only considered the Addison Le Boutillier alternative because of the reverse notation, location of purchase and the possible use of this piece as a mockup or schematic for a tile/mural installation. To my eye, the repeating, wallpaper like pattern in the background is consistent with a decorative panel of some sort. I was able to find out that Le Boutillier produced large tile murals for Grueby (some with female figures), but nothing like the above is in the documentation I've been able to turn up.

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