Property from a Private Collection
1849 - 1935
JEUNE FEMME TRAVERSANT LE BOULEVARD
signed Jean Béraud. (lower right)
oil on panel
20½ by 14 in.
52.1 by 35.6 cm
The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: Not examined out of the frame. This work is in extremely good condition. The panel is unreinforced on the reverse. The surface is flat and the paint layer is stable. The paint layer is clean. Some of the artist’s original color reads quite strongly under ultraviolet light, but this does not correspond to retouching. The work should be hung in its current state.
"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."
Galerie Pierre Levy, Paris (by 2003)
Roslyn Harbor, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, La Belle Époque and Toulouse-Lautrec, June 8-September 7, 2003, n.n. (lent by Galerie Pierre Levy)
Patrick Offenstadt, Jean Béraud 1849-1935, The Belle Époque: A Dream of Times Gone By, catalogue raisonné, Cologne, 1999, p. 106, no. 39, illustrated
In the present work, Jean Béraud turns his eye to the urban bustle as a Parisienne, dressed warmly against the cold, shopping in hand, is about to step off the curb, perhaps to catch a ride from the fiacre (hackney carriages that could be hired for a fixed rate) driving up the boulevard Montmartre (Offenstadt, p. 107). A group of boulevardiers stand in conversation in front of the Café Royal, located steps away from the Théâtre des Variétés and the Musée Grevin, founded in 1882 and famous for its wax figures (both establishments remain open today). At the center of Béraud’s composition stands one of Paris’ most recognizable cultural landmarks, a colonne Morris, which takes its name from the company that received the exclusive order for advertising columns from Baron Haussmann in 1868. Gabriel Morris, a printer and typographer, had invented the columns in 1860 as an ingenious method to both display playbills and allow street-sweepers to store their equipment in the hollow core (Offenstadt, p. 103, fig. 1). Various colonnes Morris appear in a series of Béraud’s works, and the artist recorded many of the playbills advertising the most popular entertainments of the Belle Époque. Here, in front of the café, a man in a tan overcoat stops to scan the colorful posters, their overlapping layers suggesting the ever-changing entertainment opportunities Belle Époque Paris offered— such as public balls, theatrical productions, and dance performances (see lot 409).