Lot 229
  • 229

Henri Fantin-Latour

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Henri Fantin-Latour
  • PIEDS D'ALOUETTE
  • signed Fantin. and dated 87 (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 55 by 46.7cm., 21 3/4 by 18 3/8 in.

Provenance

Mrs Edwin Edwards, London
F. & J. Tempelaere, Paris
Galerie Bonjean, Paris
M. Amodru
M. Debrise
C├ęsar de Hauke & Paul Brame, Paris
Gillis de Coninck
Mr & Mrs Bernard J. Lande, Canada (acquired by 1960)
Mr & Mrs A. Bronfman, Montreal
Private Collection (by descent from the above; sale: Christie's, London, 6th February 2007, lot 4)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Private Collection (by descent from the above; sale: Christie's, London, 6th February 2007, lot 4)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Canada Collects: European Painting, 1860-1960, 1960, no. 202

Literature

Mme Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complet de Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1911, no. 1304, catalogued p. 136

Condition

The canvas is lined. There is a vertical line of possible old retouching running down the lower right quadrant. There are specks of old retouching throughout the background and vase all faintly visible, beneath a thick varnish, under the UV light. This work is in good condition. Colours: Fairly accurate although tones in the background are less red and the colours are overall deeper in the original.
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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."

Catalogue Note

The present work is an outstanding example of Fantin-Latour's most celebrated subject, that of flowers casually displayed in a vase placed upon a tabletop. The subtle tones of the artist's palette delicately convey the intricacy of the gathered delphiniums, further enhanced by the crisp contrast with the half-filled glass vase and the monochrome backdrop.

The precision with which he depicted his subject, paying attention to the texture and varying hues of individual flowers, displays Fantin-Latour's virtuosity in capturing their ephemeral and fleeting beauty. This technique, which allows the artist to render differences in surface quality of various elements within the traditional still-life, owes much to the Old Masters whose paintings he studied at the Louvre, notably those by the eighteenth-century master Chardin. Fantin-Latour was also influenced by the style of his friends from the Impressionist circle, and Douglas Druick compared his still-lifes with those executed by Edouard Manet:

'Fantin also has shown more interest than Manet in breaking away from the conventions of still-life composition. When Manet, following tradition, has aligned the various objects on a buffet, parallel to the picture place, Fantin has looked for an arrangement that, while controlled, suggests the randomness of nature [...] This successful compromise between order and disorder allowed Fantin the best of both worlds.' (D. Druick in Fantin-Latour (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1983, p. 124).

This truthfulness to nature is beautifully exemplified in the present work in the seemingly spontaneous arrangements of flowers in the vase. The versatility and endless possibilities offered by these flowers provided the artist with an infinite source of inspiration, and the present composition demonstrates the mastery and refinement that Fantin-Latour reached in his mature work.