Lot 5
  • 5

Jean-François Raffaëlli

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jean-François Raffaëlli
  • Le Trocadéro
  • signed JF RAFFAËLLI (lower left)
  • oil on canvas
  • 28 by 31 7/8 inches
  • 71.1 by 80.6 cm


Bruno Meissner, Zollikon, Switzerland
Hirschl & Adler, New York
Private Collection
Sotheby's New York, May 4, 2005, lot 110, illustrated
Acquired at the above sale


The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This painting is in beautiful condition. The canvas is unlined and well stretched. The paint layer is clean and very lightly varnished. There do not appear to be any retouches or damages. The work should be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

The Palais de Trocadéro pictured in Raffaëlli’s composition was an impressive palace built as a concert and conference hall for the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Designed by Gabriel Davioud, the architectural style was eclectic: the circular structure of the theater was borrowed from the coliseum in Rome; two imposing minaret towers were built in the Moorish style; and galleries stretching out from either side of the central pavilion were modeled after the Piazza of St. Peter in Rome. The Trocadéro sat on the right bank and formed the top of the grand allée (from which Raffaëlli has positioned his view), and extends across the Seine to the Champ de Mars, where the Avenue des Nations showcased architectural styles from around the globe (fig. 1) and where the Eiffel Tower would be constructed in 1889. The site was embellished with cascading waterfalls, formal gardens, and enormous statues of wildlife, including Emmanuel Frémiet’s imposing bronze Elephant and Alfred Jacquemart’s Rhinocéros, both of which are now installed in front of the Musée d’Orsay.

With such spectacular architecture and characters populating the grand boulevards and cafés, nineteenth century Paris provided artists with endless subject matter. Earlier in his career, Raffaëlli was primarily concerned with representing and amplifying the individual characters of the working class rag pickers, street sweepers and wood cutters in the Parisian suburb of Asnières; but later, and perhaps after he had gained some fame and notoriety in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1880 and 1881, Raffaëlli turned his attention towards the leisure class of Paris. He produced countless street scenes where élégantes mingled with chiffoniers and fabricants, and the present work is a particularly strong example that closely aligns him with his Impressionist peers.