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Winckelmann Gallery

William Laparra – Young Woman with Turban – Circa 1910

William Laparra – Young Woman with Turban – Circa 1910

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William Julien Emile Edouard Laparra was a French painter of portraits and genre scenes. Born 25 November 1873, Bordeaux. Son of a merchant who originally came from Spain, he began his artistic education at the École de Dessin de Bordeaux then, in 1892, went to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, where his instructors included William Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. He was awarded the Prix de Rome at the age of twenty-two for his painting depicting "The Pool of Bethsaida".

He exhibited frequently at the Salon of French Artists from 1899 to his death and he became a member in 1905. Later, he became a Professor at the Académie Julian.

As the son of a Spaniard, he was influenced by that country's culture and took an extended trip there from 1908 to 1909; stopping in Burgos, Madrid and Toledo. Upon returning, he settled in Boulogne-Billancourt.

His favourite subjects for genre scenes involved daily life among the peasantry; treated in a harsh, somber style, but his portraits tended to be more cheerful and featured bourgeoise subjects. His works are on display at the Musée du Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Musée des beaux-arts de Bordeaux and the Musée des beaux-arts de Rouen, among many others.

William Laparra died 5 September 1920 in Valle de Hecho (Spain). The composer, Raoul Laparra was his younger brother.

Portrait of a young woman wearing a turban. Laparra may have drawn his inspiration by a trip to Egypt in 1902, though more likely the source is French early 19th-century female portraiture, replete with women wearing turbans, which were very much en vogue at the time thanks to an increasing interest in the East. The 1910s, the decade in which the present work was likely painted, also saw the return of turbans in female fashion.

Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Dictionnaire des petits maîtres de la peinture, Schurr/Cabanne (Paris 2008); Catalogue de l’exposition William Laparra au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, William Blake & Co., 1997; Archives de France.

Artist: William Laparra (1873-1920).
Signed in the lower right.
Medium: Oil on hardboard.
Condition: Very good condition
Dimensions: 27 x 22 cm. / 10 ½ x 8 ½ in.
Frame: 44 x 38 cm. / 17 ¼ x 15 in. Gilt wood and stucco, 19th century. Very good condition.
Origin: France.
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