"I have always striven to fix beauty
in wood or stone or glass or pottery, in oil or water colour,
by using whatever seemed fittest."
– Louis Comfort Tiffany
|Louis Comfort Tiffany by Joaquin Sorolla, oil painting, 1911.|
The multi-talented Louis Comfort Tiffany is best remembered for his glassmaking and stained glass designs. When we think of painting and Louis Comfort Tiffany, the first thing to come to mind is the vibrant portrait of Tiffany done by Joaquin Sorolla.
But Tiffany himself also painted, studying under George Inness and Samuel Colman in the United States and Léon Bailly in Paris. His paintings and drawings are far less familiar than his finely crafted stained glass windows and lamps An exhibition of 125 of them was shown at the Nassau County Museum of Art in 2013. His paintings occasionally come up at auction. Recently a selection was auctioned by Sothebys that had originally been given as gifts to Tiffany's trusted chauffeur, who had worked for him from 1911 until 1933.
Many of Tiffany's oil paintings were done on his trips to North Africa and the Middle East and on his travels to the American West. He painted throughout his entire lifetime bringing themes from his paintings and drawings into his other design work. Tiffany also worked to encourage artists by setting up the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation to run his lavish country home as a museum and art school, allowing young artists to paint in the beautiful country gardens there. Sadly, after his death the foundation auctioned the contents of the home and later the estate was abandoned, burning down in 1957.
View of Cairo, ca. 1872 by Louis Tiffany, oil painting.
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–John and Ann