Master Paintings

Master Paintings

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 53. Nature morte à la bougie.

François Bonvin

Nature morte à la bougie

Auction Closed

May 25, 03:13 PM GMT


35,000 - 45,000 USD

Lot Details


François Bonvin

1817 - 1887

Nature morte à la bougie

signed and dated Fr. Bonvin 1878 (lower left)

oil on panel

panel: 7½ by 9 4/5 in.; 19 by 25 cm

framed: 12¾ by 15 1/5 in.; 32.3 by 38.6 cm

with Stoppenbach & Delestre, London
Private collection
Sale: Christie's, London, 22 May 2013, lot 2

Largely confined indoors by illness, Bonvin focused almost exclusively on intimate still lives of domestic objects in the last years of his career. This small still life is a celebration of materials and making centered on correspondence with an air of privacy if not secrecy: sheets of paper, a block of wax, a wooden-handled seal, and the still smoking candle whose heat helps bind the various elements together. The recently extinguished flame--a familiar motif from vanitas still life paintings--suggests the physical presence of an unseen figure and marks a particular moment in time: a poignant reminder of the fleeting nature of life and by contrast the lasting power of the written word.