The Treasury - Fine Art


7575. JOHN H. HARJES, by FEDOR ENCKE. Portrait in oil, signed and dated Paris 1902. Harjes is portrayed seated at ease in a red velvet chair, his wavy white hair and heavy sideburns framing his intelligent alert face above his black banker's suit and tie. Dimensions; 48 x 60 inches in the original ornate gilt frame. The painting is in excellent original condition with no repair or restoration, the frame with a few minor flakes but also all original with no repair or restoration. A beautifully done and important painting in an exceptional original ornate hand carved gilt openwork frame.

This is the companion portrait to Fedor Encke's famous portrait of J.P. Morgan painted at the same time. The two banking giants both had Encke paint their portraits at that time. Morgan's portrait was the one Encke was painting when the young Edward Steichen, at Encke's request to minimize sitting time, interrupted to take his iconic and controversial photograph of Morgan. An important historical painting in excellent condition which perfectly captures the spirit of fin de siecle opulence and financial power and which would be at home in a major museum or financial institution.

John H. Harjes, 1830-1914, was a prominent banker and the partner of J.P. Morgan and founder of the Morgan-Harjes Bank of Paris. He was the father of Henry H. Harjes, later banker and senior partner of the same bank who played a significant role behind the scenes in World War I by negotiating sizable loans for the Allies and by his major role in organizing relief work. Additional biographical material on Harjes can be found here.

Fedor Encke, German, 1851-1926, was a famous turn of the century artist specializing in portraits of the rich and famous. His works reside in a number of major museums in Europe and the United States and are featured in sales by top auction houses.

Price on request.