Lot 447
  • 447

JULIEN DUPRÉ | Dans la vallée

70,000 - 100,000 USD
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  • Julien Dupré
  • Dans la vallée
  • signed JULIEN DUPRÉ lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 35 3/8 by 43 1/4 in.
  • 89.9 by 109.9 cm


The artist's studio (and sold, Galerie des Artistes Modernes, Paris, March 28-April 13, 1911, lot 2)
Mrs. Grace Whitney Hoff, Paris
The Detroit Museum of Art (now the Detroit Institute of Arts) (gifted from the above, April 1911)
Schneider-Gabriel Galleries, New York (by 1949) 


American Art Annual, New York, 1911, vol. 9, p. 145
The Detroit Museum of Art: Annual Reports of the President, Trustees, Director and Treasurer for the Year Ending June 30, 1911, Detroit, 1911, pp. 8, 27, illustrated p. 19
Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, 1912, vol. VI, no. 2, p. 44


The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work has a very old glue lining. The stretcher seems to be original. The paint layer is stable and well textured. The artist used some delicate glazes, particularly in the darker shadowed areas of the picture. Under ultraviolet light, one can see a few spots of retouching in the far right sky and in the small patch of sky between the trees in the center. There are also retouches in the group of three poplars in the center. There are hardly any retouches in the cows, sheep and figure, except for a few tiny dots in the shepherdess's face. Retouches have been applied in the darker colors of the tall grasses in the lower left, in the shadows beneath the tree on the far right, and in a few isolated spots in the sunlit field on the left side. The retouches are thoughtfully handled, and the work looks well as a result.
"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

The impressive collection of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association reflects the strength of collecting in the city during the Gilded Age. At the turn of the century, Pittsburgh witnessed unprecedented growth in the oil, iron, steel and food processing industries, allowing for a tremendous amount of wealth to be amassed by private hands. There was a widespread desire among newly wealthy American industrial tycoons to promote their refined taste and status and to "convey the impression that they had achieved a status equal to the European gentry," and they traveled to Europe to buy art or worked with international dealers to obtain exceptional works by the most popular contemporary artists (Gabriel P. Weisberg, "From Paris to Pittsburgh: Visual Culture and American Taste, 1880-1910, Collecting in the Gilded AgeArt and Patronage in Pittsburgh, 1890-1910, exh. cat., Frick Art Historical Center, Pittsburgh, April 6-June 24, 1997, p. 179).  Pittsburgh became an important center for the arts by the turn of the century. More than 1,800 paintings could be found in the city's collections between 1890 and 1905 alone (Weisberg, p. IX). The desire among its residents to collect European art can partially be attributed to the example set by Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, two philanthropists who held legendary collections. Pittsburgh also had world-renowned exhibitions and galleries that attracted attendees and buyers from all over the world. The following two lots by Edgard Maxence and Émile-Réne Ménard (see lots 448 and 449) were both purchased from the Carnegie International Exhibition, which began in 1896. At the same time, powerful local dealers, such as J.J. Gillespie & Co., showcased some of the most popular international artists of the day and influenced the taste of Pittsburgh collectors. Edgard Maxence's Reverie was with Gillespie, and it is probable that Gillespie may have had a hand in helping the Pittsburgh Athletic Association acquire the work by Anatole Vély (see lot 554), which had presumably graced the walls of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Social and athletic clubs, including the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, also acted as important art centers, for they not only boasted well-curated collections of their own, but also provided a venue for the wealthiest private collectors to network and socialize with each other.

Julien Dupré was among the most desirable French realists and by the turn of the century, works by sought-after realist painters could be found in prominent private collections such as those of John Jacob Astor and William H. Vanderbilt in New York, and Henry Clay Frick in Pittsburgh, which set the tone for artistic taste across the Eastern seaboard. Prior to its acquisition by the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, the present lot was gifted to the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1911 by Grace Whitney Hoff, a prominent American philanthropist who lived in Paris.  

Howard L. Rehs has authenticated this work from a photograph and will include it in his forthcoming Julien Dupré catalogue raisonné to be published by Rehs Galleries, Inc. www.juliendupre.com