SOTHEBY’S SALE OF 19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN ART TO BE HELD ON APRIL 18, 2008 Sotheby’s spring auction of 19th Century European Art in New York will feature a broad selection of paintings and sculpture of the highest quality across all areas of the category.
News-Antique.com - Mar 26,2008 - New York, New York -- Sotheby’s spring auction of 19th Century European Art in New York will feature a broad selection of paintings and sculpture of the highest quality across all areas of the category. The auction is distinguished by an extraordinary offering of works by the Academic painter William Bouguereau and a major discovery of a work by French artist Jehan-Georges Vibert. The auction also contains a strong selection of Victorian paintings and great works by Jean-Léon Gérôme.
This auction will be followed in the afternoon by The Orientalist Sale, a dedicated offering of 19th century Orientalist Art. After nine years, Sotheby’s is pleased to bring this sale back to New York with a retrospective offering of the finest works by artists of all nationalities who were interested in the region. Prior to these two sales on April 18th, the works will be on public exhibition at Sotheby’s from April 12th through April 17th. The sale of approximately 300 lots is expected to bring $25.2/35.2 million*.
Following Sotheby’s success with works by William Bouguereau in the last season, eight works by the artist will be featured, all of which come from private collections. A profound appreciation for Bouguereau’s work continues today, and he remains one of the most sought-after artists in the 19th-century European art market. While Bouguereau’s painting style remained consistent throughout his career, his choice of subject varied. Today he is best known for his tender portraits of children, such as the ambitious 1899 double portrait, Les Deux Soeurs, (est. $1/1.5 million, pictured at right), a technical tour de force.
The sale includes an exciting range of the Bouguereau’s work. La Première Discorde (Cain and Abel), 1861 (est. $1.2/1.5 million, pictured at left), is a rare opportunity to see an early example of his Salon submissions, which he was proud to put forth for all of France to view. The biblical subject and moral tone reflect the high standards of the prestigious exhibition and contrast sharply with Distraction, est. $250/350,000, a portrait painted seven years later, which depicts a young girl in contemporary dress pausing for a moment before an open book. These paintings represent Bouguereau at his best, a superior technician and staunch supporter of beauty and tradition.
Lost to the public for over a century, the masterpiece Gulliver and the Lilliputians, by the 19th century French artist Jehan-Georges Vibert (pictured on page 1), was recently discovered in a private
American collection and will be offered in the April sale (est. $500/700,000). This work from 1870 depicts the first chapter of Jonathan Swift’s famous 1726 satire. The upper echelon and army of the Kingdom of Lilliput are present in this 19th century version of the scene that greeted Gulliver when he awoke after being shipwrecked in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Early records reveal that Vibert painted two versions of Gulliver and the Lilliputians; one is in the Canajoharie Library and Art Gallery in upstate New York, and the other remaining painting, the present lot, was recently located