Lot 69
  • 69

Eva Gonzalès

400,000 - 600,000 USD
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  • Eva Gonzalès
  • La demoiselle d'honneur
  • signed Eva Gonzalès (upper left)
  • pastel on canvas
  • 17 3/4 by 14 5/8 in.
  • 45 by 37 cm


Curral, Paris (and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 10, 1884, lot 40)
Henri Guérard, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Jeanne Guérard-Gonzalès, Paris (acquired by 1897)
Jean-Raymond Guérard, Paris (acquired by 1924)
Sale: Palais des Congrès, Versailles, December 9, 1973, lot 77
Adolphe Stein, Crans-Montana
Acquired from the above


Paris, Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon, 1880, no. 4854
Paris, Salons de la Vie Moderne, Eva Gonzalès, 1885, no. 76, illustrated in the catalogue
Paris, Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon d'automne, 1907, no. 8
Paris, MM. Bernheim-Jeune, Eva Gonzalès, 1914, no. 21
Paris, A la Renaissance, Ingres à Picasso, 1928, no. 86
Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Eva Gonzalès, 1932, no. 21(I)
Monaco, Sporting, Eva Gonzalès, 1952, no. 20, illustrated in the catalogue
Paris, Galerie Daber, Eva Gonzalès, 1959, no. 24


P. de Chennevières, Le Salon de 1880, 1880, mentioned p. 47
P. Leroi, "Le Salon de 1880, IV, Dessins, aquarelles et pastels", in l'Art, July-September 1880, mentioned p. 66
M. du Seigneur, L'art et les artistes au Salon de 1880, Paris, 1880, mentioned p. 126
R. Marx, "L'exposition Eva Gonzalès", in Le journal des arts, January 1885, mentioned p. 2
L. Gauchez, "Madame Eva Gonzalès", in Courrier de l'art, January 1885, mentioned p. 53
R. Henard, "Les expositions, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune", in La Renaissance, April 1914, mentioned p. 25
L. Hautecoeur, "Exposition Eva Gonzalès", in La chronique des arts et de la curiosité, April 1914, mentioned p. 115
L. Dimier, "Chronique des arts", in L'Action Française, April 1914, mentioned p. 4
F. Monod, "L'Impressionnisme feminine", in Art de Décoration, May 1914, mentioned p. 3
E. Moreau-Nelaton, Manet raconté par lui-meme, Paris, 1926, mentioned pp. 68-69
J. Bouret, "Eva Gonzalès, muse inspirée de Manet", in Les arts, March 1950, mentioned p. 4
C. Roger-Marx, "Eva Gonzalès", in Arts, July 1950, illustrated p. 8
C. Roger-Marx, Eva Gonzalès, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1950, illustrated pl. XIII
M-C. Sainsaulieu & Jacques de Mons, Eva Gonzalès, Étude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1990, no. 97, illustrated p. 215


This work is in excellent condition. Canvas is unlined. Canvas is very gently buckled toward bottom center. A window mat is affixed to the extreme outer edges of the canvas. A few minor surface stains to the extreme left of the composition. Small scuff at upper center.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Eva Gonzalès first received critical attention at the Paris Salon of 1870, when she exhibited three pictures and was herself the subject of a fourth: Portrait d'Eva Gonzalès by Édouard Manet (see fig. 1). The sole pupil of Manet, Gonzalès achieved considerable success within Parisian art circles during her lifetime. Gonzalès was championed by the likes of Émile Zola, who referred to her as the "naturalist artist of our times" (published in "Lettres Parisiennes," La Cloche, May 12, 1872, p. 2, translated from the French), and the critic Jules Clarétie, who wrote of Gonzalès as "an artist of rare talent, who takes the brush after having handled pastel like Rosalba" (Jules Clarétie, Peintres et Sculpteurs Contemporains, Paris, 1874, p. 263, translated from the French).

Gonzalès died during childbirth in 1883, just a few days after the death of Manet. In 1885 a large retrospective of 88 works was held at the Salons de la Vie Moderne in Paris. The present work was included in that major exhibition (see fig. 2). As a composition La Demoiselle d’honneur is a wonderful example of Impressionist work. The shimmering and weightless pastels on this canvas are profoundly vivacious, offering evidence of a young and energetic artist in her prime. The pose of the figure, seen in profile with a bouquet of flowers at lower left, was a subject that Gonzalès delighted in portraying in differing variations. “The choice of subject is clearly influenced by upbringing, training, and emotional preference: elegance was a sine qua non for Eva Gonzalès, with hats as part of her wardrobe, together with long or short gloves as circumstances required” (Ingrid Pfeiffer & Max Hollein, eds., Women Impressionists (exhibition catalogue), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt & Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, 2008, p. 209).

The relative obscurity of Eva Gonzalès is attributable to both her untimely death and to a discordant reception history. Unwilling to exhibit with the Impressionists, Gonzalès stayed the course in the Salons with her maître and achieved significant critical acclaim despite her lack of popularity in the eyes of the public. The present work's subject matter of a bridesmaid echoed the preoccupations of the artist at the time: La Demoiselle d’honneur was exhibited in the 1880 Salon which took place in May of that year, just a few months after her marriage to Henri Guérard, a printmaker and engraver who worked with Manet. “Even after her marriage to Henri Guérard, Eva Gonzalès was far from abandoning all that her mentor had taught her. On the contrary. Having followed his example and started to experiment with pastel, she exhibited a delicate and charming work, entitled La demoiselle d’honneur, at the Salon. It proved a great success and Manet, having heard about her triumph, heartily congratulated her.  He commiserated with her about having not been awarded the medal that he thought she thoroughly deserved” (Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, Manet raconté par lui-même, vol. II, Paris, 1926, pp. 68-69, translated from the French). The continued rediscovery of Gonzalès's skillful hand seats her in the pantheon of female Impressionists Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, while her life's narrative inextricably links her to both the female and male masters of the era.