1812 Boulevard du Crime
2010 SOLD 4.56 M$ including premium
While the Palais-Royal is the place to go to fashion, Boulevard du Crime becomes the active center of entertainment and amusements. Its real name was Boulevard du Temple, but the Parisians had given it that nickname as a fun for the horrors that the theaters offered to good people.
At Christie's on January 27 in New York, Boilly observes a large crowd engaged in various activities in front of the entry of Café Turc, boulevard du Temple, in 1812. The costumes can not mistake on the time. This slice of Parisian life is an oil on canvas, 73 x 91 cm, estimated $ 3 million.
Typical of its time, the Café Turc was both a place of tasting ice creams and exotic drinks, and a garden. Paris enjoyed during the next decades an intense development of dancing gardens, cafés concerts, theme parks and restaurants.
POST SALE COMMENT
This lively Parisian scene has been regarded by purchasers as one of the masterpieces of Boilly. It was sold 4.56 million $ including premium.
Here the image of the star lot of this evening, shared a few days before the sale by Art Market Monitor.
1812 Meunier by David
2023 SOLD for £ 2.7M by Sotheby's
Claude-Marie Meunier had been a volunteer in the revolutionary wars. During the Napoleonic wars, he was made a commandeur of the Légion d'Honneur and a Baron d'Empire, and upgraded to général de brigade in 1810 and général de division in 1813. He had married in 1805 one of the daughters of David.
One of David's pictural specialties was the realistic life size portrait at mid length, sometimes painted in a spontaneous sketchiness.
His portrait of the général baron Meunier, oil on canvas 73 x 60 cm painted ca 1812 as evidenced by the two stars of his grade on the epaulettes. The gold thread embroidery is dazzling over the deep blue uniform. The attitude is commanding. The right hand is held in the uniform over the stomach in the emperor's fashion.
It was kept in the family for nearly two centuries until it was sold for € 2.7M by Piasa on December, 2006, lot 17. It was sold for £ 2.7M by Sotheby's on July 5, 2023, lot 37. The image is shared by Wikimedia. A portrait of his wife forming pendant is kept at the San Francisco Fine Arts museum.
The portrait of the lawyer Delahaye, oil on panel 61 x 49 cm painted in 1815, was sold for € 2.14M by Christie's on June 22, 2006, lot 55. The portrait of the regicide Ramel, oil on canvas 59 x 46 cm painted in exile in 1820, was sold for $ 7.2M by Christie's on April 15, 2008, lot 72.
2017 SOLD for € 4.3M by Christie's
Joachim is a dandy who imagines himself perfectly matching the role of Cupid. In 1797 he seduced Napoléon's youngest sister, Caroline, who was only fifteen years old. His military feats are useful for Napoléon, and he can finally marry Caroline in 1800. Canova becomes the portrait sculptor of the Bonaparte family. The statue of Pauline Borghese, another sister of Napoléon, as a half naked Venus Victrix, finished in 1808, is famous.
At the height of his art, Canova begins his series of Ideal Heads in 1811. Murat becomes king of Naples in 1808. In 1813 he calls Canova to Naples to make his portrait and that of Caroline. The two plasters are kept in the museum of Possagno, the hometown of Canova. The artist returns to Rome to carve the marbles.
Neither of the two marbles had been seen. The portrait of King Joachim had been preserved by the Murat family. This 50 cm high bust in Carrara marble, fully conforming to the plaster, is mounted on a 16 cm high marble pedestal. It was sold for € 4.3M including premium by Christie's on November 28, 2017, lot 714. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
This portrait is convincingly realistic. The face is proud, almost vain. The curls of hair are luxuriantly rendered. Canova used his secret polishing formula to give the skin a supple texture.
The marble portrait of Queen Caroline has not resurfaced.
2018 SOLD for £ 5.3M including premium
Through a process developed by the artist, the finish is beautiful and brilliant, reaching the delicacy of a real skin. Canova explained his method of passing a brush dipped in sanded water on the surface and then cleaning with a sponge. The marble remains natural without adding pigments.
The busts of young women suit very well the perfection reached by Canova. From 1811 he proposes to his clients his Ideal Heads (Teste Ideali) to which he usually attributes mythological, historical, literary or allegorical denominations. Some of them are presented to patrons whom he wishes to honor.
In March 2012 a marble head is auctioned in London without identification of author, title and provenance. The buyer inspects it after the sale and identifies it as the Bust of Peace carved by Canova in 1814 while he was working on a full length statue on that theme for a Russian minister.
At this time the whole Europe is eager to end the Napoleonic wars. The Pope asks for help from Canova for the repatriation of looted art. The Bust of Peace is promised and then delivered by the artist to a British Lord involved in this project. The identification of the piece was lost by the descendants.
This bust 53 cm high including its white marble socle will be sold as lot 25 by Sotheby's in London on July 4. The video below shows that its quality is real. It is surprising that no attribution was attempted in 2012.
2023 SOLD for £ 3.55M by Christie's
The artist carved three remakes of his Helen. One of them, ca 1816-1817, was presented by him to Lord Castlereagh, as a gratitude from the Lord's efforts to repatriate many artworks looted from Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. The bust is signed by Canova and dedicated to "vicecomiti Castelreghio viro prestantissimo", who was elevated to 2nd marquess of Londonderry in 1816.
Directly coming from the descent of the marquess, this marble bust was sold for £ 3.55M from a lowrt estimate of £ 2.5M by Christie's on July 6, 2023, lot 33. It is 62 cm high including the 12 cm marble socle.
#AuctionUpdate #AntonioCanova's masterwork 'Bust of Helen' sold for £3,549,000. This spectacular marble bust depicts Helen of Troy, daughter of the god Zeus and known as the legendary beauty that famously 'launched a thousand ships': https://t.co/zlFedZPJcN pic.twitter.com/zxyVvNuekC— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) July 6, 2023
1814 Complication Watch by Breguet
2012 SOLD for CHF 4.3M by Christie's
The eighteenth century had highly important mechanics. Abraham-Louis Breguet, micro-mechanical genius, settled into pocket watches the most extraordinary complications of the clocks, and was the inventor of basic concepts such as the tourbillon and the wristwatch.
On May 14, 2012, Christie's sold a Breguet watch for CHF 4.3M from a lower estimate of CHF 800K, lot 230.
This complication piece sold in 1814 has two main dials. It integrates two similar and symmetrical complete mechanisms. The idea of the inventor was to compensate the mechanical resonance, a source of error that was a challenge for the watchmakers. This is the first of three watches made by Breguet on this principle. The other two has been provided to the kings of England and France.
The Leuchtenberg Necklace
2014 SOLD for CHF 3.3M by Sotheby's
This jewel has apparently not be recomposed since its creation. Its earliest picture is in 1820 while worn by the Wittelsbach Princess Augusta of Bavaria, Duchess of Leuchtenberg since 1817. It was transferred in 1823 to her daughter Joséphine de Beauharnais who was going to Sweden to marry Prince Oscar. In a 1837 group portrait, 'Josefina' wears this necklace and a pearl and cameo tiara. She became queen consort of Sweden in 1844.
The Leuchtenberg necklace is made of 105 natural pearls in two strands suspending seven detachable drop shaped natural pearls measuring from 9.5 x 9.5 x 13.8 mm to 14.1 x 14.8 x 21.2 mm. The seven big pearls are capped with rose diamonds and the clasp is set with a cushion shaped diamond.
Augusta had married Eugène de Beauharnais in 1806 when the son of Empress Joséphine was viceroy of Italy. The Empress used to provide magnificent jewels for the prestige of her daughter in law at the court of Milan. A make by Nitot father or son, the official jewelers of Napoléon, is probable in this case. Another assumption is that Eugène inherited the pearls in 1814 from the estate of his mother.
1816 Turner inspired by the Greeks
2009 SOLD 13 M$ including premium
It is a temple of Jupiter Panellenius (ie friend of the Greeks). This painting is later (1816), but the composition is similar to that of 1808: an animated green leads to a remote monument, flooded with sunlight, which is the strong point of the image. The characters of the English villa were walkers. Those of the temple, dressed according to antique fashion, play a round dance.
Turner made only three paintings inspired by Greece. We must see the influence of the romantic come back to the antique (that at that time influenced also the cloth fashion) and not a political mood, as the movements that would lead to the independence of Greece were just beginning in 1816.
Considering its great size, this Turner painting is probably one of the most important to be still in private hands. It expects $ 12 million.
The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1818 Portrait of the Dedreux Children by Géricault
2009 SOLD 9 M€ including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
The fall of the Empire opens a new phase, which culminates in 1819 with The Raft of the Medusa, a monumental work without mercy which symbolizes the true destiny of men, in a heroism devoid of meaning and hope.
In his workshop of the rue des Martyrs, Géricault regularly meets other artists including Carle and Horace Vernet, Delacroix and Dedreux-Dorcy. He makes a few portraits of the two children of Dedreux-Dorcy's brother.
In 1818 Géricault is forced against his will to take an interest in children. He could not recognize the birth of his son Georges-Hippolyte, the result of his incest with the wife of his uncle and declared as the son of the housemaid born from an unknown father.
The portrait of Alfred and Elise Dedreux is an oil on canvas 99 x 79 cm painted in 1818. The boy is 8 years old and the girl two years younger. They resemble each other and are similarly hairstyled and dressed. The girl is standing, dominating this scene.
At that time Géricault sought to convert into a neo-classical style. The double portrait is chilling. The gazes of the children are uncompromising for this world of adults in which they do not enter. The landscape behind them is arbitrary and unidentifiable. Two small flowers fall from the hand of the girl who pays no attention to them. This picture is a double tronie, anticipating by its psychological stiffness the studies of mental patients of the later period of the artist.
The young Alfred was passionate about the images of horses painted by Géricault. He will specialize in this theme under the name of Alfred de Dreux, thus usurping a noble particle.
The portrait of the Dedreux children remained in Elise's family until 1925. From the Saint-Laurent - Bergé collection, it was sold for € 9M including premium by Christie's on February 23, 2009 over a lower estimate of € 4M, lot 83. It was bought in that sale by Liliane Bettencourt. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
< 1819 The Guardian of the Taboos
2017 SOLD for € 6.3M including premium
When James Cook visits Hawaii in 1778, the territory is divided. He meets Kalani'opu'u, the king of Kona district. In the following year a violent quarrel with that king results in the murder of the captain. Kalani'opu'u died in 1782, leaving the political power to a son and the religious power to his nephew Kamehameha who thus became the high priest of the god of war Ku also known as Ku Ka'ili Moku.
With this terrifying support Kamehameha manages to conquer the entire territory of Hawaii and starts a dynasty that will last until 1872. He builds for Ku large temples populated by statues with various ritual roles.
A complex social system named Kapu based on taboos protected the elites against middlemen and slaves. When Kamehameha dies an octogenarian in 1819 his favorite wife becomes queen and regent. Women had in the Kapu a subsidiary role that did not please the new regent. She forces the young Kamehameha II to abolish Kapu and to destroy temples and idols. English travelers will manage in the 1820s to collect a few pieces that escaped the iconoclasts, so being the ultimate symbols of a frightening pagan mythology.
On November 21 in Paris, Christie's sells as lot 153 a 53 cm high statuette of Ku made during the reign of Kamehameha I. It had been detached from a column on which it had served as a guardian in a temple or a necropolis.
The head is oversized above the muscular body whose attitude is powerful. The broad mouth shaped as a horizontal eight is fitted with teeth throughout its perimeter in an expression of total ferocity that suited Kamehameha I's ambitions.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's.
La vente de la collection d'art tribal de Pierre Vérité a rencontré un grand succès hier soir, avec l'adjudication d'une statuette de divinité hawaïenne pour 6 345 000 euros #ArtTribal #CollectionVerite #ChristiesParis #AuctionResult pic.twitter.com/eCLJpiQgx4— Christie's Paris (@christiesparis) November 22, 2017