Lot 402
  • 402

JEAN BÉRAUD | Le Pont des Arts par grand vent

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Jean Béraud
  • Le Pont des Arts par grand vent
  • signed Jean Béraud (lower right)
  • oil on panel
  • 6 3/4 by 10 in.; 17.1 by 25.4 cm


Private Collection, France 
Richard Green, London
Acquired from the above in 2001


Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Jean Béraud, September 29, 1999-January 2, 2000


Patrick Offenstadt, Jean Béraud 1849-1935, The Belle Époque: A Dream of Times Gone By, catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1999, p. 160, no. 168bis, illustrated p. 161


The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work is in beautiful condition. The panel is flat. The paint layer is healthy and well varnished. There is no instability or weakness to the paint layer. Under ultraviolet light, one can only see a few tiny retouches around the dome of the building on the far right.
"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

Likely painted in situ, Jean Béraud later expanded this panel into his larger canvas, Pont des Arts par grand vent, now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Béraud is most celebrated for his accurate depictions of the modernizing metropolis of Paris, steeped in centuries-old history. He frequently painted the banks of the Seine, and this view is set at the north entrance to the Pont des Arts, looking from the Louvre across the river to the Institut de France. The classical Baroque structure of the Institut, a symbol of the Ancien Régime, stands resolute above the first metal bridge in Paris, built between 1801 and 1804 under Napoleon I. A symbol of the transience of urban modernity, the innovative, industrial bridge has been hastily pasted with brightly colored notices and announcements, piled on top of one another and ever changing to advertise the latest fashion or attraction.  Fighting against the wind as they cross the Seine, people scurry with umbrellas, gentlemen hold on to their hats, and a woman descends the steps as her scarf takes flight, which, unbeknownst to her, catches the eye of the bearded man strolling behind. The woman in black captures the essence of voir et être vu, the desire to both see and be seen in late-nineteenth century Paris. As Gloria Groom explains, "[Jean Béraud] specialized in modestly scaled scenes of fashionable people experiencing the boulevards and radiating intersections of Paris as if on a stage, aware that they are being watched" (Gloria Groom, "Spaces of Modernity," Fashion, Impressionism and Modernity, exh. cat., Musée d’Orsay, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago, 2012-2013, p. 165).