The sale of Tableaux, Sculptures et Dessins Anciens et du XIXème siècle concluded yesterday in Paris with a total of €7,8 million. Private collectors from all over the world gathered to seek works often appearing on the market for the first time, or rarely seen there.
The very rare Tiger on the Lookout by Eugène Delacroix soared to €931,500, well above its high estimate. The Baron Gérard’s spectacular portrait of Joachim Murat, King of Naples and the Two Sicilies achieved €739,500. The chapter devoted to Old Master Paintings saw Marguerite Gérard’s La Toilette de Minette sell for €451,500, establishing a new world record for the artist.
Putting forward the picturesque art of Flanders, the June sale will present a very attractive painting by Brueghel the Younger, The Adoration of the Magi, a variant of a work by his father, Brueghel the Elder, preserved at the Winterthur Foundation, in Swiss. Brueghel placed Christ in everyday life in Antwerp, placing in a snowy landscape a scene that the Bible found in the heat of Bethlehem.
The French heritage will also be brilliantly represented by the discovery of paintings by major artists, such a beautiful interior scene by Charles Le Brun, Allegory of Childhood, an extremely rare example of the first part of his career before the splendor of Versailles. An interesting painting by Isaac Moillon, brother of the great painter of still lifes, Louyse Moillon, depicting an impressive Rapture of Helen in a nocturnal landscape.
Joined in this French selection of beautiful works by Jean Lemaire, a close friend of Nicolas Poussin, as well as splendid marinas of Vernet with spectacular sunsets on the Mediterranean.
From Neoclassicism to Symbolism, the selection of 19th century paintings is very rich. Highlights include an exceptional Portrait of Joachim Murat by Baron Gérard, accompanied by a portrait of his wife, Princess Caroline Murat by Baron Gérard and his studio. The end of the century presents a wide range of works, including an enigmatic portrait by Lévy-Dhurmer, Marguerite, no doubt the actress Marguerite Moreno, paintings by Jules Chéret from the house of Baron Vitta in Évian and a delightful Portrait By Lina Cavalieri by Giovanni Boldini. Finally, there are views of Venice, including two remarkable canvases by the Belgian painter Jean-Baptiste Van Moer and a beautiful orientalist section, including Les Mules noires by Bernard Boutet de Monvel.
The selection of European Sculptures & Works of Arts includes a fine collection of Mechelen alabaster, circa 1600, terracotta, marble and bronze, from the Renaissance to the 19th century. An important bronze of the French Renaissance, representing Henri IV on horseback, overcoming his enemies, realized around 1603 by Barthélemy Prieur, is one of the treasures of the session. Only five copies of this model are mentioned in the inventory after the death of the artist, designed to decorate the King's state dresser. Another jewel of the sale will be a relief of the Martyrdom of Sainte Victoire, original model in plaster, realized in 1737 by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam (1705-1778) for the Chapelle Royale in Versailles. Exhibited at the Salon the same year, this plaster served as a model for the artist for the monumental bronze relief of 1743, still in place today. Exquisite in quality, the relief has slight variations compared to the final composition in bronze, illustrating wonderfully the process of creation of the artist. We also need to mention the Triumph of Vertu crowned by the Genii and surrounded by the Liberal Arts, an important terracotta preparatory study carried out by the Turin sculptor François Ladatte (1706-1787) around 1744 for the group preserved at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.