About the Artist

Claire Anne Khalil was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emmanuel College in Boston and studied in Florence, Italy. She currently resides in New York City.

Since 2004, Ms. Khalil has devoted herself to working with clients on private commissions of their homes, house portraits and people portraits. She has also been working on a series of paintings on John Pierpont Morgan, as well as a series of Nudes that explore the female form. The medium she uses in these paintings is watercolor with pure gold and silver powders. The paper is vintage pre-war English linen paper. Ms. Khalil is also a master of the mediums of oil and egg tempera.

Ride a Paper Moon in the Year of the Cicada

In the large painting Ride a Paper Moon in the Year of the Cicada, which was commissioned by Bruce Dewar and Julie Overman, we are provided with a doll’s house view of the home. Many rooms rotate 180 to 360 degrees, allowing the viewer to revel in the sumptuous appointments of fabrics and their jewel like art collection. Dogs, cats and birds (present, or passed into “Animal Heaven”) frolic inside, outside and on top of the house and through the lush gardens.

A frieze of gold encircles three edges of the paper wherein treasured objects and family photos are framed. Julie and Bruce are at the heart and in the center of the painting, seated on rocking chairs on their front porch, near the trees they hold dear in a place they call “home”.

Ann and Rosemary

In the watercolor Ann and Rosemary, two sisters share a moment of privacy and intimacy over breakfast. They sit on top of a fabulous, pink Moroccan carpet in Rosemary’s Cambridge, Massachusetts library. Rosemary, holding a Limoges tea cup, cradles a copy of the prayer book of Queen Anne of Burgundy (from the Morgan Library collection) on her lap.

Ann, smiling at an unseen viewer, is surrounded with photographs of her three sons and their sketch books, rendered during a family vacation. The atmosphere is further enriched by a shared brioche and the silver Moroccan tea service. The energy of the painting moves from Rosemary, to photographs of Ann, to Ann herself and back to Rosemary. The sister’s relationship is repeatedly echoed in the painting in a circle without end – Ann and Rosemary, Ann and Rosemary.

The House of Morgan I – Princes Gate

The House of Morgan I – Princes Gate is the first watercolor in a series by Ms. Khalil of the great financier, John Pierpont Morgan. This painting came into being with the gracious permission of The Morgan Library and Museum, enabled in particular by Christine Nelson, Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

The four rooms in the painting are pulled from his adjoining residences at Princes Gate, London – a location where he placed some of his greatest treasures of art. It is a blending of fact, utilizing 1902 archival photographs taken by J. P. Morgan’s son-in-law, Herbert L. Satterlee, and the memoirs written by Bishop William Lawrence after a visit to the house, and Ms. Khalil’s own vision of the residence.

In the room on the upper left corner of the painting a little girl sits on a carpet playing with her toy cat “Peter”. She is seated below the magnificent portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire by Thomas Gainsborough. She is Mabel Satterlee, J. P. Morgan’s granddaughter and daughter to Louisa Morgan Satterlee.

The room on the top right side of the painting contains the famed Jean-Honore Fragonard’s panels, Progress of Love commissioned by Madame Du Barry in 1771. Morgan had them installed at Princes Gate, and after his death, they were sold to Henry Clay Frick where they can be currently seen at The Frick Collection.

The second painting in this series will be of the beautiful Charles McKim building which is the home of J. P. Morgan’s Library in New York City. Again, archival photographs will be used and long lost treasures will be re-introduced into the library’s rooms, such as the portrait of Giovanna Tornabourni by Ghirlandaio and a 1475 sculpture of a bronze angel by Jean Barbet. In addition, J. P. Morgan’s grand librarian, Belle da Costa Greene will be seen in her private office. Within the soaring architecture in the painting, there will be a lyrical interplay between the miniature creatures from the many illuminated manuscripts and the pleasures and the terrors of the children’s books.

Mademe G as OlympiaNudes

The series of “Nudes” are an on-going plunge into the viewing of the female form with a female eye. They are multi-layered, inspired by old and later masters (Titian, Valazquez, Ingres, Balthus, Manet and Goya) and Greek mythology. They are precise in detail – the gaze, the flesh, the textiles, the placed objects, the spark of gold against silver the cherished animals. There is always an inside and a view to the outside. There is also always someone watching. Within all this clarity is a masking, the bleeding of the atmosphere into something else , a vapor; mysterious, something emotionally akin to speech without words.