Lot 3
  • 3

Charles-Emile-Auguste Durand, called Carolus-Duran

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Charles-Emile-Auguste Durand, called Carolus-Duran
  • Portrait of Henri Fantin-Latour
  • signed Carolus Duran. and dated 1861. (upper right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 18 by 14 7/8 in.
  • 45.7 by 37.6 cm

Catalogue Note

Carolus-Duran moved to Paris in 1853 and most likely met Henri Fantin-Latour in the rooms of the Louvre between 1855 and 1860, when both were registered copyists. The present work is a portrait of his friend and clearly relates to the double portrait of the same year, Fantin-Latour et Oulevay in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay (fig. 1). While Fantin-Latour’s life and career is both celebrated and well-documented, Henri-Charles Oulevey, the sitter on the left of the double portrait, did not make such a name for himself as a painter.

In both the present work and the double portrait, Carolus-Duran presents a painterly homage to Fantin-Latour, perhaps anticipating the artist’s ambitious group portraits, the first of which, Hommage à Delacroix (1864, Musée d’Orsay, fig. 2) being painted just three years after the present work. One of the most sought after portrait painters in Paris, Carolus-Duran painted the likenesses of many friends, fellow artists and art-world professionals including Félix Tournachon (Nadar), Zacharie Austruc, Fritz Thaulow and Edouard Manet, among others, and in many ways adapted his painterly technique to each sitter. Unlike the dramatic chiaroscuro of the present work, in his Portrait d’Édouard Manet (circa 1877, Musée d’Orsay, fig. 3), for example, his brushwork is loose and open, detail is spare and form is hinted at only through subtle shifts in color.

In addition to being a portraitist, Carolus-Duran was well-known for his role as the founder and director of an innovative studio in Paris, where the emphasis in training was on color rather than line.  As one of the artist's American pupils, J. Alden Weir explained: "Carolus-Duran, who is the great portrait painter of France of the present day, teaches his pupils still in a different way.  He puts them in front of the living model with the brushes in their hands to represent the model as well as possible, making them draw and paint both at the same time" (as quoted in Dorothy Weir Young, The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir, New Haven, 1960, p. 28).