Richard Green, London Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 28th October 1982, lot 52 Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Paris, Salon, 1876, no. 945
A spectacular depiction of life along one of Paris’ four grands boulevards, the present work captures the city in the early years of the Belle Époque. Struck first by the coach appearing to move out of the picture plane, the eye then moves across a wealth of observed details: from the ‘H’ line coach of the Compagnie générale des omnibus emerging from the Rue de Richelieu on the left, resting bootblack and man carrying a canvas on his back (possibly a self-portrait of the artist), to the lady stepping cautiously into the street on the right, holding aloft her parasol.
While the Haussmanian architecture and wide tree-lined boulevard remains recognisable today, the buildings to the right of the scene were subsequently demolished to connect the top of the Boulevard des Italiens to the Boulevard Haussmann, which was not completed until 1922. A number of the boulevard’s celebrated cafés disappeared in the 20th century to be replaced by banks, however the Café du Cardinal visible on the left remains to this day, its entrance then as now surmounted by a bust of Cardinal Richelieu.
The Boulevard des Italiens was later celebrated in landscapes by Gustave Caillebotte, and above all in Camille Pissarro’s series of views of 1897.
The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to its stretcher.
There is some very fine craquelure in the sky; however, this is barely noticeable. Ultra-violet light reveals some isolated retouching including:
some small spots in the lower right corner and to the left of the signature;
intermittent strokes in the extreme upper edge;
and some very small spots and finely applied lines in the sky addressing craquelure.
It should be noted that these retouchings are all of minimal size and have been very carefully applied. This picture presents very well, is in good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame with a beige inner slip.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."