New-York Times December 11th, 1898
"… At the Durand-Ruel Galleries, at Fith Avenue and Thirty-sixth Street, there are now on exhibition six portraits by Antonio de la Gandara. All are women, whom this young Spanish artist loves best to paint, and one, that of Sarah Bernhardt, exhibited at the Salon of 1895, won as much praise as his better known portrait of the 'Princess de Chimay', which is unfortunately not shown here. The six portraits now displayed are all life-size and painted full-length. The artist either selects tall women to paint, or makes his subjects taller that they are in reality. He delights in long and graceful lines, quiet colors and effective, if simple, poses. To view his work after an hour with Boldini is like stepping out of a fireworks display into the stillness and quiet of a winter night. Boldini is all fire and glow in subject, execution, and color. De la Gandara is subdued, quiet, and more refined. While Boldini is unquestionably the more powerful artist, de la Gandara's works have a charm, even if less brilliant, that those of the former do not possess. The most notable of the portraits which are now shown are those of Sarah Bernhardt and the celebrated Mme. Gauthereau [sic. for Gautreau], who was the reigning beauty in Paris during the administration of Jules Grévy, and who was a New Orleans creole, a Miss Avignon [sic. for Avegno]. The history of her family is a romantic one, but space will not permit its description here. The lady, who has a wealth of reddish hair and an interesting and remarkable face, is shown with her back turn to the spectator and her head turned so as to show her long and striking profile. Her hair is dressed in a Psyche knot, and her dress, one of cling!ing white satin, is cut sensationally low, and showing most generously her beautiful molded arms, neck and shoulders. In her right hand she holds a large grey feather fan pointed forward, the arm being curved like a swan's neck. Mr. John S. Sargent painted the same subject in 1884 and used something of the same pose.
Sarah Bernhardt has also been painted with her back to the spectator and her face turned upward in profile,and is also clothed in white satin with big sleeves. The lines of the figure are extremely graceful. The portrait of Mme. Klotz, who is gowned in a pink opera cloak and a ball dress, is charming in tone and has beautiful modeling of neck and shoulders. The portrait of Mme. Salvator is chiefly notable for its easy, graceful pose and piquancy of expression. The painting of the texture of Mme. Beer's gown is remarkably fine. The portrait of Miss Robertson, gowned in pale yellow, although attractive in color and very simple in pose, is the least successful of the portraits. The flesh color is somewhat chalky. It is hard to place de la Gandara. While his work is reminiscent of other well-known portrait painters, he still holds a place peculiarly his own. His portrait shows much study, good method, and on the whole an excellent sense of color, but perhaps the qualities of refinement and appreciation of the temperament and atmosphere of the women of the Haute [sic] Monde are its most striking characteristics."