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200

Victor Pieters

Presumed Portrait of Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) in oriental costume

Estimate:

10,000 to - 15,000 EUR

Victor Pieters

Victor Pieters

Presumed Portrait of Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) in oriental costume

Presumed Portrait of Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) in oriental costume

Estimate:

10,000 to - 15,000 EUR

Victor Pieters

Rotterdam 1813 - 1894 Le Havre

Presumed portrait of Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) in oriental costume 


Signed and dated in the upper part on the left V Pieters 1856 

Oil on canvas

100,3 x 81,2 cm ; 39½ by 32 in.

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Victor Pieters

Rotterdam 1813 - 1894 Le Havre

Portrait présumé de Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) en costume d'oriental


Signé et daté vers le haut à gauche V Pieters 1856 

Huile sur toile

100,3 x 81,2 cm ; 39½ by 32 in.

The paint layer is in an average condition.

The painting has been relined, rather stiffly.

It was probably relined because of former holes in the face of the sitter.

It seems to be sound and stable.

Numerous areas of retouching are visible to the naked eye.

The varnish layer is dirty, uneven and yellow.


Under UV light

Inspection under UV light is made difficult by several uneven varnish layers.

Nevertheless, numerous small strokes of retouching appear, scattered throughout the surface.

Several more important areas of fluorescence appear, due to restorations, all along the right arm of Flaubert.

In the face of Flaubert, several due to former tears are crossing the turban and the face, running vertically from the top of the turban to the nose, and horizontally from the right cheek to the left ear.

All around the turban, retouching seem to appear.

Older areas of retouching are hidden by several varnish layers but seem to appear, throughout the surface.


Offered with a painted and gilt wood frame.

Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the condition of the frame.

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La couche picturale est dans un état de conservation moyen.

Le tableau a fait l'objet d'un rentoilage, assez dur.

Le rentoilage est probablement lié à d'anciens percements au niveau du visage du modèle.

Le support est sain et stable.

De nombreux repeints sont visibles à l'œil nu.

Le vernis est sale, irrégulier et jaune.


À la lampe UV

La lecture est rendue difficile par plusieurs couches de vernis irrégulier.

Cependant, de nombreux petits repeints apparaissent, disséminés sur la surface.

Plusieurs zones de fluorescence plus importantes apparaissent, correspondant à des restaurations, tout le long du bras droit de Flaubert.

Au niveau du visage de Flaubert, plusieurs zones de retouches liées à des déchirures anciennes traversent le turban et le visage, depuis le sommet du turban verticalement, jusqu'à son nez et horizontalement, de la joue droite à l'oreille gauche.

Tout le pourtour du turban semble également avoir été repris.

Des zones de repeints plus anciennes sont masquées par des vernis mais semblent apparaître sur toute la surface de la toile.


Vendu dans un cadre en bois peint et doré

Veuillez noter que Sotheby's ne garantit pas l'état des cadres.


Please note: Condition XVI of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. (Veuillez noter que l'Article XVI des Conditions Générales de Vente applicables aux Acheteurs (Ventes Effectuées Exclusivement en Ligne) n'est pas applicable pour ce lot.)


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.

This unusual and evocative portrait of Gustave Flaubert is by the painter Victor Pieters, who was originally from the Netherlands but settled in Rouen in 1845. He probably knew Flaubert who, like him, lived in the Rue Lecat. The writer also owned a house at Croisset, whose decoration was described by the Goncourt brothers in 1863 as having ‘an interior filled with the vulgar Orient’. His niece, Caroline Franklin Grout, remembered a sitting room ‘equipped with mahogany Empire furniture and red drapery’ – it was perhaps here that the portrait was painted.


Gustave Flaubert is shown dressed in the Turkish manner and wearing a turban, comfortably settled on a sofa upholstered in a red fabric and smoking a cigar. This painting, providing evidence of the writer’s taste for the Orient, is dated 1856 and was painted between two voyages that had a significant impact on the writer’s work, inspiring him to write some of his finest material. 


From October 1849 to June 1850, Flaubert journeyed in the company of the writer Maxime Du Camp to Egypt, Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus, concluding his travels in Greece and Italy. From this period, Flaubert left several travel diaries containing his observations, which were published posthumously. Shortly after his return, he began writing Madame Bovary; it is indeed possible, as Du Camp claims in his Souvenirs littéraires, that he planned the novel during his trip.


In 1858, Flaubert travelled to Tunisia to work on his novel Salammbô, which is set during the Mercenary Revolt in Carthage, in the third century BCE. His plan was to bring his narrative to life by becoming immersed in the plot’s setting and finding inspiration at the very source of the story. As early as 1853, Flaubert’s correspondence mentions his ambition to write ‘an oriental story’ – an aspiration confided by a man whose gaze remained firmly fixed on the Orient.

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C’est un portrait de Gustave Flaubert à la fois singulier et évocateur que nous offre le peintre Victor Pieters. D’origine néerlandaise, mais installé à Rouen à partir de 1845, il est probable qu’il ait connu Flaubert qui, comme lui, habitait rue Lecat. L’écrivain possédait également une maison à Croisset, dont la décoration est décrite par les frères Goncourt en 1863 comme « un intérieur tout plein d’un gros Orient ». Sa nièce, Caroline Franklin Grout, se remémorait quant à elle un salon « meublé d’un mobilier Empire acajou et drap rouge », où le portrait pourrait avoir été exécuté.


Gustave Flaubert est représenté vêtu à la turque et coiffé d’un turban, confortablement installé dans un divan tapissé d’un tissu rouge et fumant un cigare. Témoignant du goût de l’écrivain pour l’Orient, ce tableau daté de 1856 a été peint entre deux voyages, qui inspirèrent à l’écrivain quelques-uns de ses plus beaux récits et marquèrent son œuvre. 


D’octobre 1849 à juin 1850, Flaubert se rend en compagnie de l’écrivain Maxime Du Camp en Égypte, à Beyrouth, à Jérusalem et à Damas, pour terminer son périple en Grèce et en Italie. De cette période, Flaubert laissera plusieurs carnets de voyage dans lesquels il note ses observations, publiés à titre posthume. Peu de temps après son retour, il commence à écrire Madame Bovary ; il est d’ailleurs possible, comme l’affirme Du Camp dans ses Souvenirs littéraires, que le projet du roman soit né pendant le voyage. 


En 1858, l’écrivain se rend en Tunisie pour travailler sur son roman Salammbô, qui relate la guerre des Mercenaires à Carthage, au IIIe siècle av. J.-C. Il entend ainsi donner vie à son histoire, en s’intégrant au cadre de l’intrigue et en allant chercher l’inspiration à la source même du récit. La correspondance de Flaubert révèle dès 1853 son projet d’écrire « un conte oriental », ambition et aveu d’un homme dont le regard demeure imprégné par l’Orient.