Enfilade

At Christie’s | Old Masters

Posted in Art Market by Editor on April 28, 2022

From the press release (via Art Daily) for the sale at Christie’s:

Maîtres Anciens: Dessins, Peintures, Sculptures, Sale 21059
Christie’s, Paris, 18 May 2022

Jacques Joseph André Aved (1702–1766), La dessineuse, oil on canvas, €150,000–250,000.

Ahead of the Salon du Dessin, which will be held from the 18th until the 23rd of May, Christie’s will present its sale dedicated to the Old Masters, led by an unpublished drawing by Michelangelo, one of the few still in private hands. The Old Masters sale will highlight a set of drawings, paintings, and sculptures carefully selected by our specialists. Major artists such as Théodore Gericault, Elisabeth Louise Vigée le Brun (whose painting has not been seen on the market since 1847), Jean-Baptiste Oudry, and Nicolas de Largillierre will be showcased in dialogue with the masters of drawing, such as Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Charles Natoire, and Jean-Antoine Watteau. The medium of sculpture will be represented including a splendid pyxis, enamelers such as Pierre Veyrier II, Jean II Pénicaud, and Léonard Limosin. The works will be exhibited alongside new creations by interior designer Hugo Toro. The sale consists of 264 lots for a global estimate of €6–9 million.

Drawings

The Old Master and 19th-Century Drawings Department will be highlighted with the drawing by Michelangelo, a nude man (after Masaccio), and two figures behind, along with a selection of about a hundred sheets under the common theme of rediscovery. They begin in the 17th century, with three unseen drawings by Martin Fréminet (1567–1619), an emblematic painter of the Fontainebleau School: Sketch for a Ceiling with an Allegorical Figure of Faith (€70,000–100,000), Study for a Biblical King (€20,000–30,000), and Medallion with Two Harpies and Garlands (€7,000–10,000). These studies, rendered in graphite and brown wash, are preparatory sketches for the painted decoration of the Trinity Chapel of the Château de Fontainebleau.

The French school will be well represented with such artists as Charles de La Fosse (1636–1716), Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), Charles Natoire, and Jean-Antoine Watteau (1732–1806)—including a red chalk representation of A Couple Walking in a Landscape (€100,000–150,000) and Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805) with another beautiful ink and wash sheet representing Silenus’s March (€30,000–50,000). The latter drawing comes from the collections of Vincent Donjeux (1793), the Baron Charles de Vèze (1855), and François Walferdin (1860).

Paintings

The Old Master Paintings Department will present some beautiful rediscoveries, including a charming Portrait of a Child by Jacques Joseph André Aved (1702–1766), which illustrates perfectly the sometimes profoundly intimate art of 18th-century portraiture. The painting, called the La dessineuse, also testifies to the close artistic links between Aved and his friend Jean Siméon Chardin (1699–1779). Coming straight from the descendants of the artist, this painting will be sold for the first time since its inception. Estimated at €150,000–250,000, it will be presented with another important work from the same collection.

Another highlight from the painting section is a rare oil painting by Nicolas de Largillierre (1646–1756), whose religious subject makes it stands out within the artist’s corpus. This Saint Barthélemy (ca. 1710), with naturalistic features and bathed in divine light, was attributed to the artist only in 2003 by Dominique Brême, on the occasion of the exhibition at the musée Jacquemart-André. Brême recognized in the painting one of the apostles that decorated the painter’s elegant Parisian home on the rue Geoffroy-l’Angevin. It is estimated at €60,000–80,000.

Finally, with a distinguished provenance (which includes Delacroix’s personal collection, as well as Prince Napoléon’s and the collection of the Elie de Rothschild), a portrait of a soldier titled Lancier from the 1er Régiment de Chevau-Léger-Lanciers de la Garde, called Polonais, by Théodore Gericault (1791–1824) will number among this sale’s exceptional works (€80,000–100,000). Here, we find a few of the themes that were so dear to the artist and which herald romanticism, such as horses, battle scenes, and soldiers—themes that celebrate the artist’s ideals of liberty, heroism, and wonder.

Sculpture

Alexandre Mordret-Isambert, new specialist in sculpture in Paris, presents a selection that includes a rare liturgical object executed in Limoges during the second half of the 13th century, A Virgin and Child forming a pyxis. No equivalent is known in museums or private collections. The sculpture, in a very good state of preservation, has remained hidden from view since being exhibited at the Universal Exhibition of 1900. The pyxis comes from prestigious collections: first the Frédéric Spitzer collection (1815–1890), then the Victor Martin Le Roy collection (1842–1918), then by descent to his daughter Jeanne, wife of Jean-Joseph Marquet de Vasselot (1871–1946), curator at the Louvre and then director of the Cluny museum, an important collector of medieval and Renaissance art objects. In November 2011, Christie’s sold 24 works from the Marquet-Vassselot collection, including a carved ivory group representing The Virgin and Child Enthroned for €6,337,000. The family still kept this treasure. Many objects from the collection are now in museums, including the Louvre and Cluny.

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