CLEMENTE PUJOL DE GUASTAVINO
1850 - 1905
THE FORTUNE TELLER
signed C. Pujol (lower right)
oil on panel
36¼ by 28 in.
92.1 by 71.1 cm
Oil on stable panel, with two horizontal supports on the reverse near the upper and lower edges. The surface presents well, aside from some scattered pin dot accretions across the picture surface; an area of accretions on the surface on the wooden table at right; and faint craquelure on the seated man's turban. Under UV: varnish fluoresces green unevenly. There is a 1 1/2 inch diagonal repair extending from the urn at lower right and a tiny area of inpainting on the underside of the wooden shelf at upper right.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Executed with exquisite virtuosity and attention to detail, the present work depicts a fortune teller, a subject which entranced Clemente Pujol de Guastavino and his fellow late-nineteenth century Orientalist artists such as Rudolf Ernst (fig. 1) and Ludwig Deutsch. The Fortune Teller’s light-filled interior, decorated with leather bound books and other finely detailed decorative objects, together with the composition’s saturated hues and vibrant colors are hallmarks of Pujol de Guastavino’s oeuvre and that of his fellow Spanish Orientalists. The finely observed and detailed figures and their costumes further highlight the influence of Jean-Léon Gérôme, under whom Pujol de Guastavino studied in Paris in 1876. The artist exhibited regularly at the Salon and his painting Danse mauresque won him a medal of honor at the 1889 Exposition Universelle.