03 July 2016

Not Your Typical Black Knight

The last time we saw a live auction here on Top eBay Chess Items by Price was Chess Builders (May 2016). The current item was titled 'YVONNE PÈNE DU BOIS, American, b. 1913, "Chess Player"' and sold for US $450.00 after three bids at live auction.

The description repeated the title and added,

Seller's Estimate: USD 300 - 500. Signed lower left "Yvonne Pene Du Bois 1948". Titled verso. Oil on canvas, 16" x 14". Framed 26" x 24".

The woman in the painting is holding a Black Queen above the outstretched jaws of a Black Knight, which is unlike any chess Knight I've ever seen. There might be plenty of symbolism in the image, but I don't want to go there. A Wikipedia page, William Pène du Bois informs,

His father Guy Pène du Bois was a noted art critic and a painter known for landscapes and portraits. His older sister Yvonne (born 1913, later Yvonne Pène du Bois McKenney) would become a painter and their cousin Raoul Pene Du Bois would become a noted costume and scenic designer.

An Asheville Art Museum page, Yvonne Pene du Bois offers a brief biography,

Yvonne Pene du Bois (1913-1997) was born on Staten Island. She is the daughter of Guy Pene du Bois. She studied at the Art Students League. Du Bois lives in New York City. She is known for her cityscapes and her images of people.

For more about the family, see LIFE magazine's 'The Du Bois Family' (29 Apr 1940). For more about the Black Knight, you're on your own.

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