Lot 7
  • 7

Jules-Cyrille Cavé

80,000 - 120,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jules-Cyrille Cavé
  • The Rose
  • signed J-CAVÉ- and dated 1903 (lower left)
  • oil on canvas laid on board
  • 50 by 29 in.
  • 127 by 73.7 cm


David David, Inc., Philadelphia
Acquired from the above in January 1986

Catalogue Note

For an artist as prolific and accomplished as Jules-Cyrille Cavé, remarkably little is known of his biography.  Born in Paris, by 1877 he had entered the Académie Julian joining the ranks of a generation of European and American artists influenced by its teachers, most notably William Bouguereau.  After leaving the Académie it seems Cavé and Bougeureau remained close, as in the late 1880s the artist wrote to his daughter Henriette of attending a dinner in celebration of Cavé’s wedding (Damien Bartoli and Frederic C. Ross, William Bouguereau, His Life and Work, New York, 2014, p. 316). Though the artist won several medals at the Salon exhibiting religious and allegorical works in the Academic tradition, the hallmark of his production are compositions exemplified by The Rose and Girl with a Bouquet of Daises (lot 2).  Unmistakably, Cavé’s paintings of models in sylvan settings holding just-picked flowers maintained a strong association in style, subject, and sensibility to the celebrated works of his teacher.  Like Bouguereau’s, Cavé’s work eased the concerns of modern life allowing his models to represent the “simple” life of the country.  There is a timelessness to Cavé's compositions, the smooth brushwork erases the presence of the painter and creates a balance between immobile, static form and rich surface details, textures, and color.  At the same time the artist carefully models his figures (many recognizable from one composition to the next), detailing the rough-hewn cloth of their costume and their sun-kissed skin.  As such, Cavé’s work celebrates the real and the idealized, connected yet apart from the daily life of the nineteenth century.  A view of gathering blooms in pristine settings erases the demands of modern society, yet the carefully constructed canvas demonstrates that Cavé saw his work not as a flights of fancy but as a world he hoped to see: one made all the more possible by the great success such compositions brought him in the art marketplace.  Through the early twentieth century Cavé’s work was collected well beyond his native France, and paintings could be found in collections through Europe, South America, and in prominent American collections, some placed by Arthur Tooth, the powerful dealer who represented Cavé and Bouguereau.