With a total of €8.7 million euros, 90% of sold lots and a sell-through rate of 93%, this auction achieved the highest amount for a sale in this field in the last twenty years.
Female painters were especially honoured. The highest bid of the evening went to a work by Louyse Moillon, Still life of peaches on a pewter charger atop a chip-wood box on a ledge, from 1634, which achieved a new world record at €1,083,000. Another acclaimed female artist was Anne Vallayer-Coster, whose 1773 masterpiece Portrait of a woman with a violin reached a world record price of €903,000.
The market has once again confirmed the incredible interest for the great masters of 18th-century painting. With Fishermen leaving at sunrise from 1747, Joseph Vernet achieved the third highest bid of the evening at €843,000. François Boucher’s Pastoral countryside with washerwomen and a couple at the water's edge was bought for €267,000. Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Italian landscape with stairs, painted during his first visit to Italy between 1756 and 1761, sold for €267,000.
The auction featured five works by François Desportes, which were among the ten highest bids of the evening. Fruit flowers and vegetables in a landscape, 1720, realised €315,000 exceeding its pre-sale estimate of €300,000. The triple portrait of Bonne, Nonne and Ponne, three of Louis XIV’s dogs, reached the high-end of the pre-sale estimate at €303,000.
The keen collector Mr Louis Grandchamp des Raux has been spontaneously, honestly and sincerely building up his collection for 25 years. His taste, his choice and his style are distinctive, meaningful and desirable. Enter his world, look carefully and perceive the subtlety and preciousness of each work; almost reaching the pictorial intimacy of every artist. Mr Louis Grandchamp des Raux followed the advice of great professionals. But he also followed his intuition, which directed him to the discrete and understated charm of elegance too.
The collection, which Sotheby’s is thrilled to offer at auction in Paris on 26 March 2015, presents a panorama of French 17th-, but mostly 18th-century painting, featuring the greatest names of the genre, like Boucher, Fragonard, Oudry, Desportes, Moillon, Vallayer-Coster, Hubert Robert. It also includes a clever selection of rare but important artists such as Pierre-Antoine Lemoine, Lépicié and others, whom the collector rendered more significant through the coherence of his choices. His selection includes a few carefully selected works from the Northern countries by the likes of Hulsdonck or Soreau, which were some of the first works he collected.
The sale will be on view at Artcurial on the following dates:
FRI, 20 Mar 15 | 11:00 AM - 07:00 PM CET
SAT, 21 Mar 15 | 11:00 AM - 06:00 PM CET
SUN, 22 Mar 15 | 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM CET
MON, 23 Mar 15 | 11:00 AM - 04:00 PM CET