The world’s premier auctions
 
 
WELCOME TO INVALUABLE
Be the first to know about
the latest online auctions.
Please enter a valid email address (name@host.com)
Sign Up »
PS: We value your privacy
Thank you!
 
 
Want to learn more
about online auctions?
Take a Quick Tour »
WE'VE CHANGED OUR NAME
is now
 
To celebrate, we’ve enhanced our site with
larger images and browsing by category to help
you easily find what you’re passionate about.
Remember to update your bookmarks.
Get Started »
 
Invaluable cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate and disclaims any responsibility for inaccurate translations.
Show translation options

Lot 18: Portrait of a Young Girl

19th Century European Paintings

by Christie's

April 8, 2008

New York, NY, USA

Henri Gervex (1852-1929) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

Sold
Looking for the realized and estimated price?

Description: Henri Gervex (French, 1852-1929)
Portrait of a Young Girl
signed 'H. Gervex' (lower right)
oil on canvas
26¼ x 18½ in. (66.7 x 47 cm.)
Painted circa 1877-1880.

Notes: Henri Gervex was born in Paris and studied under Alexandre Cabanel, Pierre Brisset and Eugene Fromentin. His first known portrait, which was shown at the Salon of 1874, was that of a baby ( Portrait de Thérèse Gourio de Refuge ). Few traces subsist of the models who posed at his studio before the 90s other than friends or members of the wealthy middle class and their children.

This would explain why the young girl in the present lot is unidentifiable. It is clear that from her profound and somber, yet intense look, that she is not a workshop model. Rather she is a young bourgeois girl whose parents have commissioned the portrait. This would also explain why the portrait had never been exhibited Salon , nor documented prior to this.

The subtle charm evident in the rendering of this work and the white flower that seems to evaporate between her fingers is typical of Gervex's work in the 1880s. Her sweet bonnet is similar to that of a grand portrait dated 1877 and entitled Portrait de la Dame en bleu , where we find the same tones of blue and gray. Also this type of canvas, where the edges are rounded and the pencil demarcations can still be seen, was in vogue during this time. Lastly, the colors used; the deep blue, the white in the flower, and the touches of golden yellow in her hair and brocaded collar, as well as the brownish red inherited from the convention cultivated at the Academy, characterize Gervex's portraitures between 1877-1880.

Perhaps confirming the date of this work, in the rendering of this portrait, his style diverges more from the Academic traditions of his master Cabanel, and veers closer to that of the Impressionists. The hand holding the flower and the flower itself have a ghost-like sketchy quality to them. The background is treated with haste - application of colors seem to have been rapidly applied to the canvas in an instinctive manner - in contrast to the grey palettes of the Davidesque practice.

We would like to thank Jean-Christophe Pralong-Gouvernnec for confirming the authenticity of this work and for his help in preparing the catalogue note.

This work will be included in Mr. Pralong-Gouvernnec's upcoming Henri Gervex catalogue raisonné .

Artist or Maker: Henri Gervex (French, 1852-1929)

Title
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
 
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
 
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)