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424

Emile Villa

Releasing Butterflies

Estimate:

20,000 to - 30,000 USD

Emile Villa

Emile Villa

Releasing Butterflies

Releasing Butterflies

Estimate:

20,000 to - 30,000 USD

Lot sold:

32,760

USD

Emile Villa

French

1836 - 1936

Releasing Butterflies


signed E Villa (lower right)

oil on canvas

canvas: 46 by 33 in.; 116.8 by 83.8 cm

framed: 36 by 43½ in.; 91.4 by 110.4 cm

The canvas is lined. The paint surface is stable but with craquelure predominately in the upper third; under a yellowed varnish. Impressions from a previous stretcher bar marks across center are visible; these bars have been removed. Selective cleaning to lighter areas of the composition, including her skin and dress; the dark background remains under an opaque varnish. A raised vertical line in canvas at upper left quadrant, circa two inches long may indicate a possible repair but it does not fluoresce under UV. Numerous areas of inpainting are visible along the contours of the figure's face, her hairline, and the sides of her nose under UV light; also smaller areas of inpainting at upper right quadrant, in the greenery. The painting could benefit from a cleaning.


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.

Martha James, Chicago, Illinois
Thence by descent to the present owner
A pupil of Charles Gleyre and Auguste Glaize, Villa established himself as a painter of beautiful women in 18th century dress, staged in opulent period interiors. The second half of the 19th century saw a nostalgic reverence for the previous century that informed the time's literature and art, a trend Emile Villa followed to great acclaim. 

The sitter of the present painting is wearing an Empire-style dress, lavishly decorated with lace and ribbons, highlighting the artist's skill in the treatment of silks and transparent fabrics, as exemplified in the diaphanous butterfly net and the lace trim lining the décolletage and cap sleeves. The young woman is elegantly opening the box to release the entrapped butterflies, in a gesture that underscores the innocent nature of her pastime and the beauty of her character.