View full screen - View 1 of Lot 676. Portrait of René, Cécile and Louise Franchomme.
676

Ary Scheffer

Portrait of René, Cécile and Louise Franchomme

Estimate:

7,000

to
- 10,000 USD

Ary Scheffer

Ary Scheffer

Portrait of René, Cécile and Louise Franchomme

Portrait of René, Cécile and Louise Franchomme

Estimate:

7,000

to
- 10,000 USD

Lot sold:

23,940

USD

Ary Scheffer

Dordrecht 1795 - 1858 Argenteuil

Portrait of René, Cécile and Louise Franchomme


signed and inscribed center right: Ary Scheffer/à son ami/Franchomme 

oil on canvas

canvas: 29 3/4 by 24 1/2 in.; 75.5 by 62.2 cm.

framed: 42 1/2 by 37 3/8 in.; 107.9 by 94.9 cm.


We would like to thank Leo Ewals for providing additional catalogue information.

Lined. Central stretcher bar mark faintly visible as is finely patterned, stable craquelure in select areas of the background. Under UV: Brushy varnish glows green in areas. Thin dashes of inpainting to the eldest girl's cheek, central figure's forehead, costume just below his left hand, and a 1 inch area of repair to his chest, two one inch areas of inpainting to the youngest child's shoulder and brushy, light strengthening in her cheek. A dot of inpainting at upper left edge.


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.

Auguste Franchomme (1808-1884);
Thence by descent.
M. Kolb, Ary Scheffer et son temps 1795-1858, Paris, 1937, p. 486;
L. Ewals, Ary Scheffer, sa vie et son oeuvre, Nimègue, 1987, p. 389;
L. S. Marcus, “Inspiring the Voice Within,” Eye to I:  3,000 Years of Portraits, exhibition catalogue, Katonah Museum of Art, New York, 27 October 2013 - 16 February 2014, p. 76, reproduced.
Katonah, New York, Katonah Museum of Art, Eye to I:  3,000 Years of Portraits, 27 October 2013 - 16 February 2014.

Ary Scheffer was celebrated for his works inspired by literature, religious subjects, as well as captivating portraits of the early nineteenth century’s notable figures. The present group portrait depicts the children of the famous nineteenth century cellist and composer Auguste-Joseph Franchomme (1808-1884): Cécile (1838-1903), René (1841-1860) and Louise (1844-1873). According to a Franchomme descendant the portrait was likely painted circa 1850-1 as a gift from Scheffer to the then-grieving cellist, whose wife died in January 1850 at the young age of 35. 


Scheffer was Franchomme’s neighbor and friend, and took an interest in René’s talent, introducing him to members of his circle. As a result, René learned composition under the direction of famed French composer Charles Gounod. In the present work, René is aptly shown holding the “Duport” cello, bought by his father from the son of Jean-Pierre Duport, Napoleon’s favorite cellist, in 1843 for the then-record price of 22,000 francs. At the age of 18, René won first prize playing the “Duport” cello at the Paris Conservatoire, but died tragically several months later of pneumonia. 


Built in 1771 by Antonio Stradivari, the “Duport” cello remains one of the most important instruments surviving today, and was played by the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostoropvich from 1974 to 2007. Its visible dent is said to be the result of Napoleon’s rough handling of it when he attempted to play it himself.2 Following Duport’s technique and using his instrument, Franchomme advanced his elegant, light, and smooth bow technique. Franchomme became close friends with Felix Mendelssohn and Frédéric Chopin, with whom he would collaborate.


1 See: M. Kolb, pp. 256-7.

2 See: T. Faber, Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius, New York 2004; W. H. Hill, A. F. Hill, and A. E. Hill, Antonio Stradivari, His Life and Work 1644-1737, London 1909, p. 137.