Property of a Gentleman
AT THE WATER'S EDGE
signed and dated Emmanuel Benner 1887 lower left
oil on canvas
painting: 160 by 232cm., 63 by 91in.
framed: 191 by 268cm., 75 by 105½in.
Please see shipping calculator link: click here.
Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is no applicable to this lot
The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher, possibly the original. The painting surface is stable.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals some isolated spots of cosmetic retouching, including one in the lower back of the figure to the left. Otherwise, this work is in very good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Sale: Christie's, London, 3 December 2003, lot 41
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Paris, Salon, 1887, no. 177, illustrated in the catalogue (as Au Bord de l'eau - At the water-side)
At the Water's Edge is a particularly fine example of the sensual, timeless plein air nudes with which Benner made his name at the annual Paris Salon exhibition. The sculptural, idealised beauty of the figures shows the influence of his teacher Jean-Jacques Henner, as well as bearing comparison with the academic artist Alexandre Cabanel (whose Birth of Venus, now in the Musée d'Orsay, was a favourite of Napoleon III). Ironically, the setting of the present work is not dissimilar to that of Edouard Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe, however where Manet sought radically to disrupt the tradition of the nude in western painting, Benner and fellow academic artists sought to respect and develop it.