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Eugene de Blaas, or von Blaas, was born near Rome, in a commune named Albano Laziale, Italy, on July 24th, 1843. He initially learned his artistic craft under his father, the Austrian painter Karl von Blaas. Eugene became famous for his Academic style paintings of beautiful women.
The artist's father was a teacher at the Accademia di Belle Arti, in Venice and his production was mainly of religious subjects and portraits. Along with his brother, Julius von Blaas, young Eugene dedicated his career to Classical painting. Soon, because of his beautifully polished paintings, Eugene's reputation outshined both Karl's and Julius'.
Blaas's artwork stood out from his contemporaries, as he used bright and saturated colors to portray daily scenes, mostly containing beautiful women. The 1877 painting Balcony depicts a group of Italian women daydreaming and perched over a balcony of Classic Roman architecture and cascading flowers.
The painter also enjoyed painting scenes of courtship, like seen in the casual encounter of the artwork Die Plauderei - Chatting. This theme carries on in various of the Italian artist's production, like The Flirtation, Catch of the Day, Flirtation at the Well, among others. Most of these artworks depict simple gentlemen, usually bare feet, courting women.
The colorful painting entitled The Serenade is a fine example of the simplicity Blaas wanted to convey in his work, as the central figure, a man playing an acoustic guitar, is barefoot and wearing humble clothing. There are two women to each side that contrast with him because of their bright and colorful garments. Within Blaas' genre paintings, he also concluded works of household labor, like in the captivating Mother's Little Helper.
The Italian painter exhibited his work in many European cities, at prestigious locations like the Royal Academy in London. He also had the opportunity of showing his work in other places of the capital, like the New Gallery, the Fine Art Society, as well as the Arthur Tooth and Sons Gallery. Eugene also exhibited at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery.
Blaas concluded portraits for patrons of the high-society, creating beautiful and realistic paintings of women. As seen in Musette and At the Opera (possibly of the same model), Blaas created a glossy, porcelain feel to the model's face, a technique commonly used in Academic Classicism. In these standards of painting, women would often be portrayed with similarities to the Renaissance's view on Greek Goddesses, especially the extremely smooth and white skin. The emphasis on delicate features, large eyes, and soft skin can also be seen in A Portrait of a Young Lady.
Eugene des Blaas passed away at the age of 88, in February 1932. His legacy lives on, and he was recently paid tribute to through song. The Iranian musician Salim Ghazi Saeedi released a tune in his honor in 2011 named For Eugene, Distilling the Delicacy.