Jacques Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Eugenia Huici Arguedas de Errázuriz,” 1890, pastel on linen, 64 x 34 1/4 inches, Dixon Gallery and Gardens

A Memphis museum will soon be the first to mount an exhibition centered on the life and career of this remarkable figure in the history of modern art and design. Who’s the focus, and which museum? Details here.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, will open its doors to “The Real Beauty: The Artistic World of Eugenia Errázuriz” on January 28, 2018. As its title suggests, the show will center on the life of Eugenia Errázuriz, “tracing her life through the many portraits bearing her likeness, as well as some of the works of art that formed her extraordinary collection,” according to the museum. Dixon Gallery will be the first American museum to ever detail Errázuriz.

John Singer Sargent, “Madame Errázuriz,” circa 1883 84, oil on canvas, 18 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
John Singer Sargent, “Ramón Subercaseaux in a Gondola,” 1880, oil on canvas, 14 5/8 x 21 5/8 inches, Dixon Gallery and Gardens

The museum continues, “Addressing the larger subject of the role of South Americans in turn-of-the-century Europe, the exhibition will also feature works of art centered around Eugenia’s relatives and friends, especially the Subercaseaux, who shared her passion for the arts. [Errázuriz] arrived in Europe with her husband, amateur painter José Tomás Errázuriz, in the early 1880s. Very quickly, the newlywed Errázurizes began making their rounds across Europe, becoming, along with their relatives Amalia and Ramón Subercaseaux, favorites among the cosmopolitan group of artists in turn-of-the-century Europe. Eugenia’s exotic beauty was celebrated by some of the greatest artists of her generation, including John Singer Sargent, Giovanni Boldini, and Jacques-Émile Blanche.

John Singer Sargent, “Madame Errázuriz” or “The Lady in Black,” circa 1882-83, oil on canvas, 32 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, private collection
John Singer Sargent, “Madame Ramón Subercaseaux,” 1880, oil on canvas, 65 x 43 1/4 inches, private collection
Jacques Émile Blanche, “Portrait of Master Errázuriz, ca. 1890, pastel on linen, 51 x 31 1/16 inches, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

“As time went on, Eugenia continued to inspire artists, writers, and musicians around Europe, both through her unique personal style and her faithful patronage. In 1916, she was introduced to Pablo Picasso by Jean Cocteau; this marked the beginning of one of the most intriguing artist-patron relationships of the twentieth century. Eugenia was also known as a great tastemaker, as her belief in high-quality minimalism in both interior design and fashion spawned a legion of followers, most notably Jean-Michel Frank. Frank penned an article celebrating Eugenia’s discerning eye and contributions to the concept of modern design for the February 1938 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. In addition, several articles about Eugenia appeared in Vogue and in Vogue Paris in 1918 through 1928.”

“The Real Beauty” will continue through April 8. To learn more, visit Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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