A masterwork by Corot leads Bonhams $2.2 million European Paintings auction

8 May 2013, European Paintings
European Paintings

A masterwork by Corot leads Bonhams $2.2 million European Paintings auction

8 May 2013, European Paintings

NEW YORK—Bonhams is pleased to announce the results of its May 8 European Paintings auction, which brought in more than $2.2 million. The leading offering of the 173-lot auction was Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's Douai, glacis des fortifications, près la porte Notre-Dame, an oil on canvas, which brought $134,500. Corot painted the piece in Douais in 1854 of his friend and fellow painter Constant Dutilleux seated at his easel before various trees and an overcast sky.

Topping the auction's highlights and soaring past their pre-sale estimates were two very different works that each brought $104,500: Jean-Léon Gérome's Boy, an oil on canvas portrait of a dog before a brown background (est. $10,000-15,000) and Francesco Vinea's A romantic dream, an oil on canvas, dated 1898, depicting a woman in a gown, asleep at her spindle, surrounded by dancing cherubs and approached by a gentleman in armor and a red robe - perhaps the object of her affections (est. $40,000-60,000). Another lofty work that performed well in the sale was Hans Zatzka's A dream in the forest, an oil on canvas of a woman dreaming in a forest before a pond with fairies, sold for $40,000, ahead of an estimate of $20,000-30,000.

The auction's noteworthy lots went on to include Vittorio Reggianini's The appreciative audience, an oil on canvas depicting four enthusiastic ladies in pastel gowns, enjoying a gentleman's piano performance before them, which brought $98,500, and Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta's The letter, an oil on panel depicting two women seated at a fountain, with one pleasantly reading the other a letter, sold for $50,000.

Scenes surrounding the sport of hunting performed well in the auction. Samuel Edmund Waller's The huntman's courtship, an oil on canvas dated 1899, featuring horseriders, horses, beagles and a crowd about for a grand hunt, sold for its high estimate of $50,000; Thomas Blinks' The fox hunt, an oil on canvas depicting hunters and their dogs striding through a forest toward a field, brought $40,000, ahead of an estimate of $20,000-30,000; and a pair of works by Henry Shayer & Charles Shayer, comprising The meet; and Over the ditch, each in oil on canvas, brought $35,000, surpassing an estimate of $6,000-8,000.

Two works each brought $47,500: Karl Karger's Fronleichnam Prozession, Vienna, 1889 (Corpus Christi Procession), an oil on canvas, dated 1911, depicting the annual procession that celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi, instituted by the Catholic church in 1263, and Edwin Lord Weeks' Horsemen waiting at the gateway, an oil on canvas from 1880, showing two robed men paused with their horses before a large gate.

The sale included works by Arthur Wardle and David Shepherd, from the Collection of Margie and Robert E. Petersen, which brought impressive results. Wardle's Lion Cubs, an oil on canvas of three cubs in tall grass, brought $31,250; Shepherd's Leopard and Kill, an oil on canvas featuring a leopard standing out amongst foliage, took in $31,250, surpassing an estimate of $10,000-15,000; and Shepherd's African Elephant, an oil on canvas, described as titled, standing in grass, claimed $20,000, ahead of an estimate of $6,000-8,000.

Madalina Lazen, Senior Specialist in European Paintings at Bonhams, commented of the sale, "We are thrilled to see the market making such a buoyant come back. Bidding came fast and furious from all parts of the world and buyers were not deterred by competition."

Mark Fisher, Director of European Paintings at Bonhams, added, "There seems to have been a marked shift in the interest shown in 19th century paintings, as recently as the last six months. We are now looking forward to an even more successful sale in the autumn."

For more information about the auction, please visit www.bonhams.com/auctions/20499/.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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