Lot 2
  • 2

Jules Joseph Lefebvre

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jules Joseph Lefebvre
  • Fatima
  • signed Jules Lefebvre and dated 1883 (center right) 
  • oil on canvas


George I. Seney (and sold, his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, February 11-13, 1891, lot 139)
J.J. Gillespie & Co., Pittsburgh 
Acquired from the above through the Prendergast Bequest, 1891


Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library, Dedication Loan Exhibition, 1895, no. 179


"Art Galleries and Societies," American Art Annual, Boston, 1900-1, vol. III, p. 114
Descriptive Catalogue of the Art Gallery of the James Prendergast Library Association, 
Jamestown, New York, 1906, no. 22 
Katherine E. Manthorne, The Mirror Up to Nature: A Catalogue of 19th and 20th Century Paintings in the Collection of The James Prendergast Library Association, Jamestown, New York, 1982, p. 26

Catalogue Note

The present work was formerly in the storied Brooklyn collection of George Ingraham Seney, included in Edward Strahan’s Art Treasures of America. A self-made man from Astoria, New York, Seney served as president of the Metropolitan Bank of New York in the late 1870s and was a financier of many railroads, with great means to fuel his voracious collecting habit. Seney quickly owned more canvases than his house could hold, and at the time of the sale in 1891, Seney’s collection was known as the finest collection of modern European masters ever to be exhibited in America (The Sun, New York, February 3, 1891, n.p.).

Throughout his prolific and celebrated career Lefebvre had a long association with Americans. He was a professor at the Académie Julian in Paris where, along with Fernand Khnopff (see lot 52), several young American artists including were among his students. Best known for his finely detailed figure paintings of beautiful women (see lot 10), Lefebvre was an accomplished muralist and William H. Vanderbilt commissioned several from the artist to decorate his impressive New York mansion (see lot 13).