Property from Agnews Gallery, London
JULES-ÉLIE DELAUNAY | PORTRAIT OF A LADY, 'MME. B...', HALF-LENGTH, WEARING A BLUE DRESS WITH PINK RIBBONS, AND A FUR WRAP
Estimate: 10,000 - 15,000 GBP
Property from Agnews Gallery, London
Nantes 1828 - 1891 Paris
PORTRAIT OF A LADY, 'MME. B...', HALF-LENGTH, WEARING A BLUE DRESS WITH PINK RIBBONS, AND A FUR WRAP
signed upper left: JEDELAUNAY (JED in ligature);
and inscribed and dated upper right: NANTES 1875.
oil on canvas
unframed: 63.5 x 47 cm.; 25 x 18 1/2 in.
framed: 96.5 x 79 cm.; 38 x 31 1/8 in.
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The canvas is stable and unlined. The paint surface is in very good condition. There are only very slight re-touchings at the lower left corner and the extreme lower margin, and to some craquelure around the chin, neck and collar.
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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Private collection, France;
Anonymous sale, Vendôme, Rouillac, 17 March 2019, lot 169.
Paris, Palais du Trocadéro, Exposition universelle internationale, 1 May – 10 November 1878, no. 256 (this numbered label on the frame).
"Delaunay is an artist who would have been otherwise unknown to me, if I didn’t have another portrait of a woman in my own collection, which I picked up in a small shop on the Left Bank of Paris around ten years ago. Sadly, my portrait does not compete in quality with the painting under offer. This woman, who seems to turn her attention to us, harbors deep thoughts behind her wistful expression."
The sitter is depicted wearing an elegant dress with a fur wrap, confronting the viewer with a beautifully languid and direct gaze – the same compositional style as several other vividly characterful portraits executed by Delaunay in the 1870s, such as the portraits of Alphée Dubois (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes),1 Ernest Legouvé (Musée d’Orsay),2 and Madame Raoul Alfred Philippe, of 1877 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes).3 In the exhibition catalogue of 1878, the sitter is described as 'Mme. B...', who may possibly be identified as one Madame Bouin.4 Delaunay worked in the classicist manner of Ingres until, after winning the Prix de Rome, he went to Italy in 1856 and abandoned the ideal of Raphaelesque perfection in favour of the sincerity and severity of the Quattrocentists. Early in his career he concentrated on historical and religious subjects, often combining Christian and Classical motifs; but from around 1870 he focused on portraits. Delaunay received the ‘medaille de Première classe’ in 1878 and became ‘Croix de la légion d’honneur’ in the same year as the present portrait was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle.
4 M. Megroz-Cochand, Biography: Elie Delaunay, unpublished doctoral diss., Ecole du Louvre 1972, p. 27.