Benjamin Albert Stahl (Florida/Connecticut/Illinois/Mexico, 1910-1987) oil on board painting depicting a voluptuous cabaret or can-can dancer in a feathered headdress and low cut gown, seated backstage, her leg raised on a footstool so her shoe can be tied and revealing a red garter; beside her sits a much older bearded man in black stovepipe hat, looking bored and poking at his cigarette case with a cane. A still life composition with compote of fruit, bottle and glass of wine is in the foreground, a pitcher on a stool is in the background. Signed lower left "Stahl" and dated "'44". "13" inscribed en verso. Housed in a later giltwood frame with carved husks and rosettes at corner. 13" x 9" board, 20 1/2" x 16 3/4" framed. Mid 20th century. Provenance: Private Kentucky Collection. Note: this painting, heavy with influences of Degas and Cezanne, was likely an illustration for the Saturday Evening Post or Esquire, both two of Stahl's most reliable editorial clients during the 1940s. Stahl studied at the Chicago Art Institute and went on to work as one of America's best known illustration artists. Starting with the Chicago Tribune, he soon went to work for a number of widely circulated periodicals. Frank Kilker, editor of the Saturday Evening Post, was said to have held the most intriguing manuscripts for Stahl to illustrate. The National Academy of Design awarded Stahl its highest honor, the Saltus Gold Medal in 1949 for his painting "Circus People". He went on to have a successful career as an illustrator of children's books. He also founded the Famous Artists School in Westport, CT and also taught at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 1979. (source: Society of Illustrators museum website; Askart). CONDITION: Overall very good condition. A couple of nearly indetectable scattered spots of flaking center right side; some wear to perimeter of board from rubbing against frame; and a couple of miniscule spots of white and brown paint/accretions. Fine 12" crack to frame; some scattered abrasions to frame.
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