Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BONHAMS 19th Century European Paintings 3 May 2017 New York

A Beautiful Gift, a work by the French Academic painter Émile-Auguste Hublin (1830-1891), is among the leading works in Bonhams' next 19th Century European Paintings sale in New York on Wednesday 3 May. It is estimated at US$50,000-70,000.

Hublin's artistic influence can be traced back to the French 18th-century master, Jacques-Louis David whose emphasis on excellent draftsmanship, brilliant coloring and an eye for beauty is clearly evident in A Beautiful Gift. Hublin studied under François Édouard Picot, a pupil of David who established a studio at the prestigious Académie des Beaux Arts to preserve and extend his legacy.

Bonhams Senior Specialist in European Paintings in the US, Madalina Lazen, said: "Hublin's paintings are a vivid document of Bretton costumes of the 19th Century, as encountered by the artist during his trips through Brittany. His sitters are typically young girls engaged in house work or with animals, and their modeling against the dark background is flawless, bringing out the luminous features and costume highlights."

The sale also features works from the Collection of Alex and Barbara Kasten. A strong selection of paintings includes:

Footsteps by the British artist Isaac Snowman (1874-1947), estimated at US$60,000-80,000. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1901, it was one of a series of Snowman's works depicting young mothers and their children dressed in the most fashionable outfits. Well known as a society painter, Snowman was also a strong supporter of the Zionist movement and campaigned actively on its behalf.

Die goldene Meile bei Remagen estimated at US$40,000-60,000 by the Austrian painter Franz Unterberger (1838-1902). The work depicts a section of the Golden Mile – a stretch of the river Rhine famous for its picturesque beauty and economic significance as the centerpiece of the growing international tourism industry.

La Maison d'Henri Martin á Saint-Cirq-Lapopie by Jacques Martin-Ferrières (1893-1972). The painting, estimated at US$20,000-30,000, shows the house in the medieval stronghold of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, near Cahors, bought by Martin-Ferrières's father, the painter Henri Martin, at the turn of the 20th century. This work by the 25 year-old Jacques shows his father's influence. The pointillist technique is employed with great skill and layers of thick paint are superimposed in perfect chromatic harmony.

Works by two 19th-century Romanian artists make a rare appearance at auction.

 Danube Guard (Santinela) by Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907) was a product of the Russian-Turkish war 1877-78. Romania broke away from the Ottoman Empire, under which it had been ruled for 400 years, to fight alongside the Russians. Grigorescu accompanied the troops as an artist-reporter, making hundreds of sketches along the way that he later used as the basis of a series of oil paintings, including Danube Guard. It carries an estimate of US$20,000-30,000)

A portrait of a Young Girl (Cap de Copil) by Nicolae Tonitza (1886-1940) is also estimated at US$20,000-30,000. Tonitza was greatly inspired by Post-Impressionism and Expressionist art, and was responsible for infusing new life into the Romanian art scene at the beginning of the 20th century. He greatly enjoyed painting children – his own as well as those of his friends and relatives - and following them from a very young age through different stages of maturity.

Both paintings were once in the collection of Roy Melbourne who was political attaché to the American Embassy in Bucharest, 1946-48.