Institutional Collection


Louis Buisseret (1888 - 1956)

Portrait of Mary Louise McBride (Mrs Homer Saint-Gaudens), 1929

SKU: 2729

Signed and dated

Oil on Canvas

Height – 91cm
Width – 65cm


The Artist’s Studio

In its original Italiante frame

A typed label attached to the stretcher reads: ‘Cleveland – Chicago /
Belgium / Catalogue No. 289’.   It is probable that this refers to the
exhibition ‘Contemporary Belgian Painting, Graphic Art and Sculpture’,
which was held at the Art Institute of Chicago,  May 1 – June 1, 1930.

sitter, Mary Louise McBride, was the second wife of the critic, stage
director and writer Homer Saint-Gaudens;  they were married in
Pittsburgh in 1929, the year this portrait was painted, so it may be
considered as a twentieth-century contribution to the long tradition of
‘Marriage Portraits’.   Homer Schiff Saint-Gaudens (1880-1958) was the
son of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the great American sculptor and his wife
Augusta Fisher Homer.   The elder Saint-Gaudens was born in Dublin of
mixed Irish-French parentage, and met his wife whilst studying in
Rome.   Their son, Homer, was born in Roxbury, Massachusettes, where he
is buried, but he lived the latter part of his life in Florida (his
address in the American Dictionary of National Biography is given asBox
246, Route 2, Miami, FL.).

As a young man Homer Saint-Gaudens
served as assistant editor of a New York periodical, The Critic, and
then as managing editor of Metropolitan Magazine.   He was stage
director for Maude Adams in ‘Legend of Leonora’, ‘Kiss of Cinderella’,
etc 1908-17, and director of production for ‘Beyond the Horizon’, ‘The
Red Robe’, and other shows, 1919-21.    He was appointed Assistant
Director of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh in 1921, and
promoted to Director the following year, a post he held until 1950,
though his time there was interrupted by active service in the 1st
Camouflage Unit of the American Expeditionary Force during World War
Two.   He was widely decorated for both his war service and his services
to art:  he was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal
and Purple Heart (USA);  Officier du Legion d’Honneur and Croix de
Guerre (with Palm) (France);  Commander of the Hungarian Order of Merit;
Chevalier of the Order of Leopold (Belgium).   He was also
Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy, London.

His publications include many articles as well as Reminiscences of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and The American Artist in his Times.

Saint-Gaudens outlived her husband dying in 1974, after which the
portrait passed to relatives, and remained in family possession until

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Louis Buisseret
1888 - 1956

Louis Buisseret was born in Binche (Hainaut) in 1888.   He studied at the Mons AcadŽ mie under Emile Motte and Louis Joseph Greuse, before going to Brussels where he continued his studies under Jean Delville and Herman Richir.   In 1910 he was placed second in the Painting section for the Prix de Rome, which he won the following year for Engraving.   He was much influenced by his time in Rome and Benezit Dictionary of Art (Grund 2006) records that ‘He painted according to a theory he inherited from Italian painting which he described as that of “sequences” or “static compositions”.’   In 1928 he was one of the founding members of the Nervia group of artists, and the following year was appointed Principal of Mons AcadŽ mie;  a post he held until 1949.   He died in Brussels in 1956.


Louis Buisseret (1888 - 1956)
Portrait of Mary Louise McBride (Mrs Homer Saint-Gaudens), 1929