A fine portrait of a 5 year old Christina Patterson by American artist Aaron Abraham Shikler (1922-2015). Shikler was born in Brooklyn, New York, studied at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, then studied in New York with the abstract painter Hans Hofmann, but he remained a committed realist throughout his life, under the sway of artists like Degas, Vuillard, Sickert and Sargent. To make a living, he painted clowns and ballerinas for a wholesale company, signing the work “Phil I. Steen” to register his disgust. When Leroy Davis, an Army friend, opened the Davis Gallery in Manhattan in 1953, he began showing Mr. Shikler’s work, which included figure studies, still lifes and landscapes. A turning point came in 1959 when Jane Engelhard, the wife of the industrialist Charles W. Engelhard Jr., asked Mr. Shikler to paint her portrait. She became one of his most important patrons, commissioning portraits of Lady Bird Johnson, the Duchess of Windsor and Mike Mansfield, the Senate majority leader. He would later paint portraits of Brooke Astor, Joanne Woodward, Queen Noor of Jordan and Diana Ross with her three children. He also painted a posthumous portrait of Robert F. Kennedy, dressed casually in khaki pants and a leather jacket, which hangs in the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building. Probably some of his most well-known work would be portraits of America’s economic, political and social elite included a brooding John F. Kennedy, a sorrowful Jacqueline Kennedy and a buoyant Ronald Reagan in jeans and work shirt.
Oil on canvas, signed and dated 63 lower right, and housed in a carved giltwood frame, with minor losses on the painting and frame. Dimensions: 36 in H x 30 in W, actual; 43 in H x 37 in W, framed.
Aaron Abraham Shikler Portrait of Christina Patterson, 5 Years Old, 1963
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