[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
SPAT, Gabriel [1890-1967]
Three Women (obverse) / Gathering (reverse)
oil on wood panel / 4.75 inches by 8.25 inches
Peter and Clara Sobieski, parents of Kurt Bernhard’s first wife Clothilde, may have known artist Gabriel Spat during his Paris years. Spat painted a portrait of the Sobieski family: parents and three of their four children. This pair of studies on a wood panel was given to the Sobieskis by the artist, who had studio space at La Ruche, an artistic enclave in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, which includes the bohemian community of Montparnasse made famous in the film “Moulin Rouge.”
A catalogue for one of his post-war exhibitions includes a story about Spat’s use of scrap canvas from other more financially successful artists; in this case he has painted on both sides of a discarded cigar box lid.