Franklin Chenault “Watty” Watkins (Pennsylvania, 1894 – 1972)
The Model, early to mid 20th century
Oil painting on canvas
Initialed “FW” to the upper left corner
Alexandre Gallery label with title to the verso
Franklin Watkins, nicknamed “Watty”, was especially known for his style that emerged in the 1920s, described as “dramatic realism” that often featured expressionistic handling, distorted figures, and dramatic diagonals. The artist attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and studied under Cecilia Beaux; however his studies were put on hold when he enlisted in the Navy for World War I. After the war, he traveled throughout Europe studying the Old Masters, all the while developing his signature style, creating paintings that often featured introspective portraits, and symbolic still lifes. Watkins was the recipient of several awards including the Bronze medal at the 1937 Paris International Exposition, the Bronze medal at the Musée Jeu de Paume in 1938, and the Carnegie International Exhibition First Award for his controversial work Suicide in Costume. A retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art in 1950. Other institutions that have exhibited and collected his work include the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Vatican Museum, among others.
- discolored specks of varnish scattered across surface of work; cracks and slight paint loss to the upper right corner and to the lower left below flower; painting examined under black light; cracks, chips, and loss throughout molding of frame.
- measures frame; sight measures 12.25" W x 17.5" H.