The Complete Works of Philippe Smit
by Andreas Narzt and Florence Castellani
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Catalogue entry

Photo: Studio Sebert; © FdDPS


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Classification: Painting »
Theme: figurative »
Medium: Oil »
Support: on canvas »
Year(s): 1927 »
PS 294
Statue of an Apostle
Oil on canvas
59 1/8 x 51 3/16 in. (150 x 130 cm)
Neither signed, nor dated
On the back: a metal plate: Mme Smit on the frame lower right.
Inv. Berendina Hubscher, n.d. [ante 1952], s.n., private archives: no. [09], p. [1], Toiles: Statue de la Cathédrale de Chartres.
No known exhibitions.
Literature & Primary Sources
Philippe Smit. ALS to Kasper Niehaus. Thoury-Férottes, 18 January 1928.
Niehaus, Kasper. "Te weinig geëerd shilder: De beteekenis van Philippe Smit." De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), 27-01-1933, p. 7 ("… een copie van het voortreffleijke houten beeld …").
Niehaus, Kasper. Philippe Smit, unkown genius. Revised and edited by Marjorie Bell. Typescript, 1955, p. 13 ("… Here [Bryn Athyn] he also did a painting which was a copy of a French twelth century statue …").
"[…] hélas je n’ai pas/ beaucoup travailler. J’ai fait en Amerique un portrait de fillette/ dont hélas je n’ai pas encore de foto. des Fleurs. copie de la merveilleuse/ statue de bois du XII, que j’avais dans mon atelier et que/ je considère comme une des merveille de la sculpture de/ ces époques, et pour la naissance de la petite Miriam j’ai faite/ un Ange portant des fleurs, pastel, et quelques dessin et ici en France/ nous sommes dans un très jolies petit village, j’ai fait un pastel/ de la petite Eglise Romane, qui a une poësie la contré[e] est très/ belle j’espère avoir le plaisir de te voir ici, et un grand/ portrait de Madame Pitcairn dans le parc. […]" [sic] (… alas I have not worked much. I have made in America a portrait of a little girl, of which, alas, I have not yet a photo, flowers, a copy of a marvellous 12th century wooden statue, which I had in my studio and which I consider to be one of the marvels of the sculpture of these periods, and for little Miriam’s birth I have made an angel holding flowers, pastel, and some drawings, and here in France we are in a very pretty little village, I have made a pastel of the small Romanesque church, which is poetic, the region is very beautiful, I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you here, and a large portrait of Mrs. Pitcairn in the park …) (Philippe Smit 1928a)

The wooden sculpture of an apostle, French, 12th century, shown in this painting was once part of the collection of Theodore Pitcairn.1 On 19 September 1924 Pitcairn wired 10.000 guilders to Philippe Smit, who probably acted as intermediary in this purchase.2

1. cf. Theodore Pitcairn, "My Lord and my God", New York, 1967, jacket & pl. [p.301].
2. "Theodore Pitcairn, Ledger Account", typewritten copy (Glencairn archives).

Additional images
Philippe Smit sitting in his studio in Laren, to his right the sculpture and Ode de Chopin [PS 245], behind him the left part of the big painting The Soul of the River [PS 217] is visible (old photograph, private archives, Paris).
The sculpture placed in the chimney framed by an archivolt, French, 12th century, former studio of Philippe Smit in Bryn Athyn (old photograph, LNC archives).
Record last updated May 13, 2017. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Narzt, Andreas and Castellani, Florence. "Statue of an Apostle, 1927 (PS 294)." The Complete Works of Philippe Smit. (accessed on September 26, 2021).