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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED CANADIAN COLLECTION

William Bouguereau
FRENCH
MOISSONNEUSE
Estimación
600.000800.000
Lote. Vendido 797,000 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE
7

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED CANADIAN COLLECTION

William Bouguereau
FRENCH
MOISSONNEUSE
Estimación
600.000800.000
Lote. Vendido 797,000 USD (Precio de adjudicación con prima del comprador)
SALTAR AL LOTE

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Art

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New York

William Bouguereau
1825-1905
FRENCH
MOISSONNEUSE
signed -W-BOUGUEREAU and dated 1868 (lower right)
oil on canvas
41 7/8 by 33 1/2 in.
106.5 by 85 cm
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Procedencia

Goupil & Cie., Paris (acquired directly from the artist, April 1868, no. 3373)
M. Wallis, London (acquired from the above in 1868)
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London
Mrs. William Thaw, Pittsburgh (by 1927)
Sale: Freeman Galleries, Philadelphia, April 25, 1939, no. 107, illustrated (as l'Italienne à la Fontaine)
Schneider Gabriel Galleries (1943)
Sale: Kende Galleries, New York, March 12, 1943, lot 40, illustrated (as The Water Girl)
Mrs. Harold Weinburg, Dallas, Texas
Private Collection (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 1989, lot 31, illustrated)
Acquired at the above sale

Documentación

Charles Vendryès, Dictionnaire illustré des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1885, p. 38 (as Jeune Bretonne à la Fontaine)
Ludovic Baschet, ed., Artistes Modernes: Catalogue Illustrée des oeuvres de W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1885, p. 45, illustrated
Franqueville, William Bouguereau, n.p., n.d., p. 370 (as Jeune Bretonne à la Fontaine)
Marius Vachon, W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1900, p. 149 (as Jeune Bretonne à la Fontaine)
Mark Steven Walker, "William-Adolphe Bouguereau, A Summary Catalogue of the Paintings," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, L'Art Pompier, exh. cat., Borghi & Co., New York, 1991, p. 61
Damien Bartoli with Frederick Ross, William Bouguereau, Catalogue Raisonné of his Painted Work, New York, 2010, p. 107, no. 1868/07, illustrated
Damien Bartoli with Frederick Ross, William Bouguereau, his life and works, New York, 2010, illustrated p. 481, pl. 314

Nota del catálogo

Peasant scenes, such as Bouguereau’s Moissonneuse, provided popular subject matter for artists in the nineteenth century. As more people re-located to industrialized cities, urban audiences viewed their pastoral counterparts with fascination and probably envied what they perceived to be a humble, uncomplicated and more gratifying way of life. As a result, there was a ready market for these scenes and this demand contributed in large part to Bouguereau’s tremendous commercial success. In 1868, when Moissonneuse was painted, Bouguereau was at the peak of his technical virtuosity and about to become one of the most popular and sought-after artists of his generation.

Moissonneuse is among Bouguereau's most sophisticated and elegant single-figure compositions. The rich hues of the model’s costume and formality of the composition suggest the influence of the Renaissance masters and particularly Raphael, whose work Bouguereau had greatly admired since his first trip to Italy after winning the coveted Prix de Rome in 1850.  Throughout the 1850s and 1860s, many of Bouguereau’s paintings had religious overtones, most likely stemming from his devout Catholicism.  However, following a suggestion from his then dealer, Durand-Ruel, Bouguereau began to secularize his compositions in order to appeal to a broader audience and taste (see lot 15).  In Moissonneuse, he may be  recalling compositions such as Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow (1505, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) with the receding landscape and ordered compositional arrangement, or St. Catherine of Alexandria (1507, The National Gallery, London), whose breaking wheel has been replaced by the water pitcher.

In Bouguereau’s own records and when this painting was first sold by Goupil & Cie, it was titled Moissonneuse, broadly alluding to the subject’s identity as a harvester or peasant. In later literature and auction catalogues, she has been referred to as L’Italienne à la fontaine, or Jeune Bretonne à la fontaine. In the late 1860s, Bouguereau began moving from Italian subjects in favor of Breton scenes, likely inspired by three consecutive summers in Brittany from 1866 to 1868, where he explored the southern coast and ocean cliffs located in today’s departments of Morbihan and Finistère. Other works from the period, such as Faneuse (1869, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh) and L’Italienne à la fontaine (1869, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City), reveal that models and props were not necessarily chosen for their specificity.

Moissonneuse features a beautiful harvester in profile, standing against a seaside landscape with a crowd of workers resting beyond. With her head clad in a red scarf and framed by blue sky, the presentation is dramatic and striking. Bouguereau further demonstrates his unparalleled skill with the complicated pose of her intertwined arms and creates three-dimensionality in her profile with a gentle shadow cast across her face by her ear and earring: an example of Bouguereau’s artistic wizardry which would be a technical impossibility at the hands of almost any other painter.

19th Century European Art

|
New York