May 2006 Fine Art and Antiques Auction
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|168. Kyril P. Vassilev (Bulgarian, 1908-1987)
"Portrait of Helen Rich, 1940". Oil on canvas, signed and dated on the base of the column depicted to the left of the composition, framed, 86-1/2" x 40" canvas size, with 5-1/2" wide frame 97-1/2" x 51". A monumental full-length portrait of one of the great society ladies of Palm Beach, Florida, during a very elegant era in that region. The lady is shown at the peak of her charms, decked out in a formal costume. Notably, she does not wear fancy jewelry as a status symbol as one might expect; her presence and beauty transcends any other adornment.
Vassilev began his carreer as a portrait artist in his native Bulgaria. There he painted an official portrait of King Boris in 1927, and in 1929 painted Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, Papal Nuncio to Bulgaria, who later became Pope John XXIII. Vassilev moved to Palm Beach, Florida in 1940 and soon became the premier portrait artist to the wealthy society in that community. He painted a large portrait of Harry S. Truman in 1948. He remained in America for the rest of his successful career.
500/1,000 Sold $488.75
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