Georges Stein was a French painter who is best known for her views of Paris and London especially during the Belle Epoque Era which afforded her the opportunity to capture the glamour, the excitement, and the elegance of this “Golden Era” of peace, prosperity and advancement. Her paintings recreate the haute couture, the social mores, and leisure activities of native Parisians and Londoners. The result is an intimate and yet provocative window into a seductive time in history with illustrious buildings and monuments, dazzling ladies, grand gentlemen, uniformed officers, children escorted by nannies—all captured at various work, social, leisure and play pursuits.
In London, Westminster Bridge Georges Stein creates one of her signature cityscapes with a bustling view of horse drawn carriages overflowing with passengers racing at break-neck speed across the bridge towards the end of a busy day. Other female figures, some with broad brimmed hats balancing umbrellas and small children, delineated in quick staccato brushstrokes that accentuate the sense of speed, dart across the iconic bridge in a distinct rush to reach their intended destinations. A brilliant spot of color is noted in the red jacket festooned with gold buttons of a young man who strides towards the viewer. The imposing clock tower of Big Ben bathed in the gray light of eclipsing sunlight rises resolutely and steadily above the spiraled towers of Westminster Cathedral and seems to survey all the disparate activity of the city below. A cloud suffused with a fiery red-orange glow ignites the blue-gray sky behind the shaded and shrouded London landmark buildings. A painting similar to this example by Georges Stein with the same fiery red-orange glow in the right hand portion of the canvas was sold at Christie’s South Kensington in September of 2007. Stein has succeeded marvelously in capturing the distinct ambience of a city flush with energy, excitement, activity and promise on the cusp of a new century and eager to embrace the future and all that it portends.
Private Collection, Jacksonville, FL