Lot 419
  • 419


60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • After William Bouguereau
  • Mignon
  • signed W-BOUGUEREAU. (center left) 
  • oil on canvas
  • 18 1/4 by 15 in.
  • 46.4 by 38.1 cm


Goupil & Cie, The Hague, no. 2961 (acquired directly from the artist, July 1867, as Tête d'enfant de Far from Home
Theodoor Soeterick, Utrecht (acquired from the above through Mr. Patyn, October 1867)
Thence by descent


Mark Steven Walker, "William-Adolphe Bouguereau, A Summary Catalogue of the Paintings," William-Adolphe Bouguereau, L'Art Pompier, exh. cat., Borghi & Co., New York, 1991, p. 67
Damien Bartoli and Frederick C. Ross, William Bouguereau, Catalogue Raisonné of his Painted Work, New York, 2010, p. 100, no. 1867/08, illustrated; and in the revised 2014 edition, p. 100, no. 1867/08, illustrated

Catalogue Note

This emotive portrait marks an important rediscovery for William Bouguereau. Sold to a collector in Utrecht in 1867, the year that it was painted, it has been passed down through the same family for generations over more than 150 years. Until today, this painting has been known only from a postcard published by Goupil with the title, Mignon. However, the child’s face and distinctive expression are well-known from the artist’s Loin du Pays in Puerto Rico’s Museo de Arte de Ponce (fig. 1). Emilienne Cesil-Biegler, the girl who posed for this painting, was among Bouguereau's favorite models during this period and appeared in most of his works painted between 1865 and 1867, among them La prière (1865, Private Collection), L’oiseau chéri (1867, Yamadera Goto Museum, Japan) and La reveil (1865, Private Collection, see lot 614 for reduction). Born in 1859, she was the daughter of Bouguereau's housemaid.