420
420
Jean Eugène Buland
FRENCH
LA LECTURE
Estimate
60,00080,000
JUMP TO LOT
420
Jean Eugène Buland
FRENCH
LA LECTURE
Estimate
60,00080,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Art

|
New York

Jean Eugène Buland
1852 - 1926
FRENCH
LA LECTURE
signed Eug. Buland and dated 1901 (lower center) 
oil on canvas, in a painted oval 
33 1/2 by 39 3/8 in.
85 by 100 cm
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Catalogue Note

The son of an engraver, Jean Eugène Buland studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and in the studio of Alexandre Cabanel. After winning the Grand Prix de Rome for two consecutive years in 1878 and 1879, he was able to stay at the Villa Medici for five years, studying Renaissance masters and honing his technical skills.  Returning to France in 1884, Buland was inspired to abandon his classical and allegorical subjects in favor of Naturalism, working closely with Jules Bastien-Lepage. He was enormously successful in his lifetime, earning medals at Barcelona’s Universal Exhibition of 1888, Paris’ Exposition Universelle of 1889,  London’s International Exhibition of 1890, and the Legion d’honneur in 1894. Having been awarded major commissions from the State and being included in the collections of museums and institutions throughout France and Europe, it is surprising that his oeuvre is not more broadly known.

Buland chose a rich variety of subjects as he documented scenes from the world around him. In Un Patron (1888, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, fig. 1), Buland draws attention to the advancement of manufacturing and industry following the Franco-Prussian war. In Propagande (1889, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, fig. 2) he shows a travelling salesman offering prints in a poor family’s home, his tricolor rosette revealing his political motivations. Buland used photography extensively to render the faces and gestures of his characters, giving these compositions a graphic impression, as if assembled by collage. This process anticipates the paintings of Norman Rockwell, and it is easy to draw a stylistic comparison.

In La lecture, two generations sit side by side, the young girl enthusiastically reading to her grandmother, who is entranced. As in many of his other paintings, all of the elements seem to be pushed to the front of the picture plane, as if in a frieze. His extraordinary attention to detail and technical wizardry is evident in the spools of thread, patchwork of textiles and lace, the figures’ costumes and beautifully modelled faces, and especially their expressive hands. This careful arrangement of four hands positioned in the center of the canvas, drawn with photographic conviction and painted with naturalistic coloration, is an arresting display of artistic ingenuity.

19th Century European Art

|
New York