Louis Émile Villa
Lady with a Parrot
Oil on canvas (relined). 116 x 83 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: E. Villa. 73.
This charming snapshot is a characteristic example of Villa's oeuvre. It depicts a young woman in an elegant striped silk dress with fine floral décor and lace trimmings, her hair tied back with a green silk ribbon. She sits in a Neoclassical chair in a salon with tasteful wallpaper and panelling, gracefully lifting her arm to observe the perching macaw. She balances a dessert bowl filled with orange slices in her lap, which she appears to be feeding to her feathered friend along with sugar cubes. The young woman observes the exotic bird with wonder and fascination.
Louis Émile Villa was born in Montpellier and studied under Charles Gleyre at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Gleyre was also the first teacher of Renoir, Bazille, Sisley, and for a short time also Monet. But whilst these rebellious pupils followed their own artistic path, Villa found his initial inspiration in Gleyre's works.
North German private ownership.