Sale: De Baecque & Associés, Lyon, March 16, 2015, lot 522, illustrated Acquired at the above sale
Félix Auguste Clément trained at the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris under Michel-Martin Drolling and François Édouard Picot. After winning the coveted Prix de Rome in 1856, he spent six years in Egypt where he painted Orientalist pictures, a genre for which he is best known. The present lot recalls paintings of the Italian Baroque, an era the artist likely studied during his time in Rome. Holding the book of scriptures on his lap, the figure looks towards the heavens for guidance and inspiration. His identity is unknown, as he does not possess any of the typical attributes associated with the Four Evangelists.
Lined. The work presents well. There is finely patterned, faint craquelure throughout and frame abrasion at the edges. Under UV: the work is covered in a thick green fluorescing varnish, of which the figure's skin has been cleaned. The varnish has been applied in a streaky manner throughout, though this is most prominent along the edge of the figure's nose. Finely applied inpainting to address prior craquelure is visible on the proper left side of the figure's face and on his proper left shoulder. There is a thick line of inpainting at lower left extending the height of the figure's hand. There are scattered pin dots of retouching in the background with slightly larger areas at the extreme edges. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.