Fashionable ladies, tranquil landscapes and exotic views shine in Bonhams 19th Century Paintings Sale
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Fashionable ladies, tranquil landscapes and exotic views shine in Bonhams 19th Century Paintings Sale
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Le Chemin de Méry. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Exceptional examples of works from top names are to be offered in the 19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art sale, taking place on 21 January 2015 at Bonhams New Bond Street salerooms.

Ernest Ange Duez’s 1883 work Une Parisienne, £60,000-80,000, is an iconic image of the independent young Parisian woman walking along an open boulevard, her sober but fashionable dress offset by a bouquet of bright flowers. It is a vision of Paris made famous by artists such as Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas, and writers from Balzac to Zola.

By the social standards of the time, Une Parisienne could be seen as a challenging image; depicting an unaccompanied woman in an urban setting was a subject that in the 1880s still had the power to shock.

Duez's work reflects his place amongst the leading figures of the Parisian avant-garde, as his focus on the lives of bourgeois Parisians places him at the heart of what the Impressionists and their circle were choosing to paint in the 1880s.

Another star lot of the sale is John Atkinson Grimshaw’s 1877 painting Yew Court, Scalby by Twilight, estimated at £70,000-100,000. An artist best known for his city night-scenes and landscapes, Grimshaw’s skill in rendering lighting effects enabled him to truly capture not just the appearance but the mood of a scene.

His primary influence was the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and true to that style Grimshaw created landscapes of accurate colour, lighting, vivid detail and realism. Yew Court is a wonderful example of this, the striking quality of the light perfectly capturing the look and feel of a cool, clear evening’s twilight.

Le Chemin de Méry, by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, depicts a well worn path leading into the heart of the composition, populated by locals of the town of Méry, seen on the right. Corot is a pivotal figure in French landscape painting, his vast output simultaneously referencing the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipating the innovations of Impressionism. Estimated at £50,000-80,000, this painting shows Corot at the height of his powers, with his mastery of subtle lighting and his ability to convey atmosphere seen to full effect.

Further highlights include:

• The Wind on the Hill by Dorothea Sharp, estimated at £60,000-80,000, is an outstanding example of British Impressionism, perfectly encapsulating the carefree days of childhood and the warm breeze of a summer's day

• Carnival Time by John Callcott Horsley, RA, £30,000-50,000, is an exceptional example of Horsley's society painting. This is a keenly observed work which pays great attention to the detail of the reveller's costumes, but also presents a social narrative

• Archibald Thorburn’s Among the Blooming Heather is estimated at £30,000-50,000. Bonhams holds the world record price achieved at auction for a Thorburn

• Summer Night by Sir George Clausen RA, RWS, £8,000-12,000, depicts the rooftops of Carlton Hill, St John's Wood, where Clausen lived from 1905 until 1940. Clausen painted a number of views of London rooftops and back gardens, usually of what he could see from his window

• Close of Play by James Hayllar, RBA, £6,000-8,000, is a charming image of a young boy with his cricketing kit, enjoying a refreshment after a long game

• Australian artist Thomas William Roberts’ A View in the Italian Lakes, £15,000-20,000, is a fine example of the plein air landscape painting that had made his name in his native country, executed during his travels in Italy prior to World War I

• Edward Lear’s watercolour The Valley of Jehosaphat with Jerusalem Beyond, £25,000-35,000, is a work which resulted from an 1858 commission from Lady Waldegrave. Camping for a week on the Mount of Olives making studies and preparatory drawings, Lear was particularly interested in the light at dawn and evening, the simple colour scheme of gold, green and purple working to excellent effect

Additional artists represented in the sale include Sir Alfred James Munnings, Walter Langley, Edouard Henri Leon Cortès, Sir William Russell Flint, and Edward Seago, amongst many others.

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