Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses

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Lot 43
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger
(French, 1814-1893)
The Five Senses: Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing, Sight

Sold for £ 200,250 (US$ 274,766) inc. premium
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893)
The Five Senses
a set of five, one signed 'H. Schlesinger' (lower right)
oil on canvas
each 115.5 x 89.5cm (45 1/2 x 35 1/4in).
(5)

Footnotes

  • From our research, it would appear likely that the provenance is as follows:

    Provenance
    Acquired at the 1865 Salon by Emperor Napoleon III (25,000 francs).
    The Empress Eugénie, Paris.
    Sir Richard Wallace, Château de Bagatelle, Paris, 1871.
    Sir Richard Wallace Collection, Sudbourne Hall, Suffolk.
    Lady Wallace, London, her bequest to Sir John Murray Scott, 1897.
    His sale, Christie's, London, 24 June 1913, lot 82.
    Bought at the above sale by Jones Brother's, London (50 gns.).
    Mr John McCormack.
    His sale, 1945.
    Acquired at the above by Mr and Mrs Doheny, Los Angeles.
    Bernard and Joyce Matthews, Great Witchingham Hall, Norwich.

    Exhibited
    Paris, Salon, 1865, no. 1946, as Les cinq sens.
    Paris, Exposition Universelle, no. 87, as Les cinq sens.
    London, Bethnal Green branch of the South Kensington museum, Sir Richard Wallace's Loan Exhibition, June 1872-1875, nos. 330-334 (lent by Sir Richard Wallace).
    Ipswich, Ipswich Art Gallery, Ipswich Fine Art Club. First Loan Exhibition, June-August 1880, nos. 13, 19, 25, 40, 44 (on loan from Sir Richard Wallace's Sudbourn Hall Collection of Modern Paintings').

    Literature
    'Le Salon de 1865', Revue contemporaine, 1865, vol. 80, p. 551.
    'Salon de 1865', Revue artistique et littéraire, 1865, vol. 9, p. 58.
    'Salon de 1865', La Semaine des familles: revue universelle hebdomadaire, 1865, p. 572.
    Nicolas François Louis Besson, Annales Franc-Comtoises, vol. 4, p. 369.
    'Beaux-Arts. Les Allemands-Bavière-Prusse etc.', Revue Moderne, 1867, vol. 42, p. 178.
    'Salon de 1865', Almanach de la littérature du théatre et des beaux-arts, 1866, p. 69.
    'Sir Richard Wallace collection at the Bethnal Green Museum-III', The Building news, 26 July 1872, p. 56.
    Marius Chaumelin , L'art contemporain, Paris, 1873, p. 21.
    'Souvenir d'un directeur des Beux-Arts', L'Artiste, vol I, 1884, p. 9.
    Philippe de Chennevières, Souvenirs d'un directeur des beaux-arts, Paris, 1885, vol. 2, p. 4.
    Théophile Thoré, Les Salons: Salons de 1864-1868, Paris, 1893, p. 168.
    'Necrologie', Bulletin des musées, 1893, p. 158.
    John Ingamells, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Pictures, London, 1985, vol. II p. 305.
    Catherine Granger, L'Empereur et les Arts: la liste civile de Napoléon III, Paris, 2005, p. 189 (as location unknown).
    Mary Ann Bonino, The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home, Los Angeles, 2008, pp. 107 and 117.

    Born in Frankfurt, Henri Schlesinger studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna before moving to France where he resided until the end of his life. In Paris he exhibited regularly and successfully at the Salon between 1840 and 1890: this secured him a good success and visibility. He was awarded a bronze medal in 1840 and a silver medal in 1847, and he received the Legion d'Honneur in 1866.
    At the Salon of 1865, Schlesinger exhibited this set of five canvases, Les Cinq Sens which was then acquired by Napoléon III for his private collection for the conspicuous sum of 25,000 francs. The set was very well-received by the public and the acquisition by the Emperor received a lot of attention by the press of the time, which commented largely on the impressive display of the works which appeared framed all together and on the large sum paid for it (fig 1):

    'One of the canvases in front of which the public most willingly stops is the panel composed of several compartments, in which Mr. Schlesinger has represented the Five Senses ... it reigns in all this composition a spirit and a verve of remarkable execution, and the young girls who represent the Five Senses are so harmonious, so elegant and so fresh, that we return with pleasure to this canvas, a sort of oasis amid the mediocrities of the Salon' (translated from 'Salon de 1865', La Semaine des familles: revue universelle hebdomadaire, 1865, p. 572.)

    In the present series of oils, two elegant and charming models are illustrating the five senses. The set was acquired by Bernard and Joyce Matthews to decorate Great Witchingham Hall, Norwich, possibly in the 1960s.
Contacts
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses
Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (French, 1814-1893) The Five Senses
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