I. M. Gaugengigl (1855 - 1932)
The Connoisseur, n.d.
Oil on panel
10 x 8 7/8 inches
Signed at lower left: I.M. Gaugengigl
Born in 1855 in Passau, Bavaria, Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl died in Boston in 1932. He was a specialist in intimate genre scenes, studio interiors, portraits, and, rarely, landscapes and still lifes.
Bavarian by birth, he was the son of a professor of oriental languages. Gaugengigl trained in Munich at the Royal Academy beginning in 1874, working with Johann Raab and Wilhelm von Diez.
After studies in Italy and Paris, Gaugengigl came to Boston by 1878. His meticulous small-scale work and ornate historical subjects soon earned him the nickname the Meissonier of America. With great success he exhibited work at the Guild of Boston Artists and the St. Botolph Club and, in 1882, entered into an exclusive agreement with John A. Lowell and Company.
Gaugengigl was a highly regarded social figure, and his connections brought him lucrative portrait commissions. Beginning in the 1890s he depicted many prominent Bostonians in both small-scale panels and occasionally larger canvases. He was on the council of the Museum School for over twenty years as well as one of the directors for the Guild of Boston Artists.
He won a gold medal at the New Orleans exposition of 1884-1885 and a bronze medal from the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association. One of his students was Frederick Childe Hassam at the Boston Art Club. He became a member of the National Academy of Design as a National Academician, in 1906. He also exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.