(Louisiana/Connecticut/North Carolina, 1859-1937)
Misses N. & Madame Butterfly, 1919, owned by Samuel G. Allen, signed lower right "Rosseau/1919" and inscribed on canvas edge by the artist with "No.3" and by owner, oil on canvas, 26-1/4 x 40-1/8 in.; original gilt wood and composition frame, restretched, five small patches verso with related points of retouch, crackle, recent cleaning by Colin Post, Asheville, NC. Notes: Samuel G. Allen (1870-1956), a lawyer and businessman, was dedicated to the railroad. In his personal life he was devoted to sporting dogs. In 1917, he helped establish the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America (AFTCA) and, in 1922, he and others founded the English Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA), an organization that eventually set the American standards for the breed.
Although his primary residence was in Rye, New York, Allen leased land in Denton, North Carolina for quail hunting and shuttled his sporting dogs between the two locations. Between 1929 and 1932, he had a hunting lodge, dog kennels and other buildings constructed in Pinehurst, Moore County, North Carolina, in the same vicinity to other famed estates including one owned by Percy Rockefeller called “Overhills.” Rosseau established residence at a cottage on the Rockefeller estate.
While the exact circumstances surrounding the acquaintance of Allen and Rosseau are unknown, the two could have met during the war years in Denton, North Carolina. It was obvious that Rosseau painted many of Allen’s treasured dogs, including these two. Rosseau was also involved with field trials which would have provided an alternative opportunity for the two to interact. Both Allen and Rosseau belonged to the coterie of sports hunters from the north that gathered in North Carolina during hunting season.
Since having been commissioned in 1919, this painting has descended in the family of Samuel G. Allen.. Provenance: Acquired from artist by Samuel G. Allen, owner of the dogs; by descent to the consigner; A Private North Carolina Collection
restretched, five small patches verso with related points of retouch, crackle, recent cleaning by Colin Post, Asheville, NC