Lot 249
  • 249

Jean-Baptiste Santerre

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jean-Baptiste Santerre
  • "La Femme VoilĂ©e"
  • signed lower left: J.B. Santerre
  • oil on canvas
  • 31 1/2 x 37 inches


Possibly collection of the artist;
Thence possibly by inheritence to his grandnephew, Armand Santerre des Boves, Château des Boves, Magny-en-Vexin (Val d'Oise);
Thence possibly by inheritance to his heirs (by 1846).


Possibly C. d'Arnaud, "Revue de la semaine. Beaux Arts", in L'Artiste: Revue de Paris, series 4, VII, 26 July 1846, p. 62;
Possibly A. Potiquet, Jean Baptiste Santerre, peintre: sa vie et son oeuvre, Paris 1876, p. 9 and note 1;
Possibly C. Lesné, "Jean-Baptiste Santerre, 1657 - 1717", in Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français, 1988, pp. 111-112, nos. 112 and 128.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting may have been cleaned in the last 50 years, but the lining dates from an earlier period. The surface is stable and the lining is competent. The painting is in very fresh and lovely condition. There is slightly visible separation or drying cracking in the darker colors of the composition, particularly in the clothing of the figure and in the lower left background. The cleaning has been modest. There is an attractive patina, although there are remnants of an old dirt layer and varnish that are slightly noticeable. While it is not necessarily recommended that the picture be further cleaned, it may be a consideration to carefully retouch a few of the cracks in order to more clearly view the work. At present, no retouches are visible at all under ultraviolet light.
"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

This image of the Femme voilée is emblematic of the figure de fantaisie or “fantasy portrait”, a genre which featured heavily in Santerre’s output at the dawn of his career, and the warm palette and dramatic employment of chiaroscuro typify the artist’s style at that time. The most celebrated version of this enigmatic female figure is that in the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, formerly in the collection of Pierre Crozat, a passionate collector and patron of early Rococo artists.1  The Hermitage picture is dated 1699, just one year after the artist was awarded associate membership  in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, and the artist later exhibited a version of the Femme Voilée at his Salon debut when elected an official member in 1704.


1.  For the Hermitage picture see C.T. Eisler, Paintings in the Hermitage, New York 1990, p. 506.