Cécile Paul-Baudry

La sultane favorite

Auction Closed

January 26, 07:56 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 USD

Lot Details


Cécile Paul-Baudry


1879 - 1960

La sultane favorite

signed c. paul-baudry (lower left)

oil on canvas

canvas: 51¼ by 61⅛ in,; 130.2 by 155.3 cm

framed: 55¾ by 65 in.; 141.6 by 165.1 cm

Serena Wilson, New York (acquired circa 1970)
Private collection
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 24 May 2017, lot 68

Catalogue illustré du Salon 1914, Paris 1914, no. 1559, p. 173, illustrated.

Paris, Salon, 1914, no. 1559
La sultane favorite was exhibited at the Salon of 1914 by Cécile Paul-Baudry, a student of William Bouguereau and the eldest daughter of the celebrated Academic painter Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry. This arresting composition centers on a beautiful woman in an atmospheric interior dressed in an elaborate costume and draped in a delicate gauzy veil. The painting was illustrated in the Salon catalogue and the painter's address was listed as 19 avenue de Tourville in Paris.

The present painting was a fitting addition to enter the collection of the well-known dancer, choreographer, and teacher, Serena Wilson (1933-2007), who helped popularize the genre of belly dancing throughout the United States. A Bronx native, Serena first fell in love with the art form in the 1950s, honing her skills by performing at famed clubs throughout New York City, including the Egyptian Gardens. Serena’s Studios, which she opened in the 1960s, survives today along with The Serena Belly Dance Museum, which houses a unique collection of costumes and dance-related memorabilia that celebrates her long and illustrious career.