The Sweet Life

USD $49.95



ISBN: 978-1-913875-59-6

224 pages

280 × 240 mm (9 ½ × 11 in)

150 colour illustrations

November 2024


An entirely new exploration of the life and career of the expat American artist Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1855-1919), who spent nearly all his life in Paris, and whose oil paintings feature in private collections and those of many major museums on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Stewart’s paintings are highly engaging and attractive, covering a broad cross-section of later 19th- and early 20th-century American Expat Parisian high society, its genteel past-times, and travel, in a style of painting that was uniquely his own, and that was lauded in both Europe and America. This new volume presents over 70y major paintings, pastels and drawings across thematic sections, with a new introduction to Stewart’s life, career, and world through essays by major specialists on nineteenth and early twentieth century American art and history.

The authors look variously at Stewart’s early career and training at the École des Beaux-Arts, his later tutelage under French and Spanish masters, Eduardo Zamacoïs, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Raimundo Madrazo, his family’s involvement in the production of sugar; then the world of the American Expat society in which Stewart circulated, and the evolution Stewart’s later style, in the mid 1880s towards multi-figured, narrative scenes of his family, friends and meticulous depictions of their costumes; then for a brief period later the sensuous Arcadian nudes bathed in sunlight, celebrating the attributes of Diana and the Bachenates. Collectively these provide the first major exploration of Stewart’s world and work with, new contribution to our understanding of the importance and legacy of his art, and his advocation for his community of fellow American artists in France.

Contributions by Michael Crane, William DeGregorio, Jim Dicke, Vincent DiGirolamo, Jacqueline Francis, Barbara Gallati, Valerie A. Leeds, Campbell Mobley and James W. Tottis

Author biographies

James W. Tottis is a museum consultant and former curator of American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts
Michael Crane is past curator for the Detroit Institute of Arts and currently the Curator of Collections at the Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, MI
William DeGregorio is the associate curator, The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Vincent DiGirolamo is an associate professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York
Jacqueline Francis is professor and dean, Humanities and Sciences Division, California College of the Arts
Barbara Dayer Gallati is curator emerita of American Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
Valerie A. Leeds is an independent scholar and curator
Campbell Mobley is a curator at Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL

Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments
    • The Things That Dreams are Made of: The Idyllic World of Julius LeBlanc Stewart by James W. Tottis
    • Julius LeBlanc Stewart: Capturing the Essence of the Sweet Life—A Portrait of Opulence, Leisure, and the Gilded Age Gaze by Campbell Mobley
    • Slaves in the Salon: The Underside of Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s Belle Époque by Vincent DiGirolamo
    • The Enigmatic Expatriate Artist of Belle Époque Paris: Julius LeBlanc Stewart and His American Legacy by Valerie Ann Leeds
    • Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s Paris Milieu: Negotiating the Professional and Social Spheres by Barbara Dayer Gallati
    • Julius LeBlanc Stewart in Arcadia by Michael Crane
    • A Member of the Wedding by Jacqueline Francis
    • “Dressy Art”: Fashion in the Paintings of Julius LeBlanc Stewart by William DeGregorio
    • Getting to Know Julius LeBlanc Stewart: A Collector’s View by Jim Dicke
    • PLATES: Contemplation and Repose; Social Life; Outdoor Excursions; Arcadia; Venice – La Serenissima; The Sporting Life; Les Portraits – Figures in the Studio
    • Exhibition History
    • Index
    • Photo Credits