Lot 132: ATTRIBUTED TO JEAN-BAPTISTE GREUZE | Self-portrait

Est: $25,000 - $35,000
$20,000 0 bids
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Sotheby's

May 22, 2018, 2:00 PM EST
New York, NY, US
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Description: pastel on paper
Dimensions: 21 3/8  by 16 1/2  in.; 55 by 43 cm.
Medium: pastel on paper
Condition Report: The following condition report was provided by Marjorie Shelley, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. The portrait is in very good condition. The colors are vibrant and show no evidence of fading or color alteration. Extremely minor surface dirt is present on the tip of the nose and at the hairline above the forehead. The highlight at the right side of the mouth reads well, however, on close inspection the hardness of the left edge suggests that it may be a correction. Minor horizontal scratches are present at the bottom of the cravat and there is slight rubbing along the lower edge of the garment. Slightly discernible marks from rubbing or fingers are present in the dark brown background at the upper right. The portrait is set within a fictive oval on a rectangular sheet of paper and each of the four spandrels is in compromised condition. Pastel appears to have been initially applied to each corner, however these sites have been deeply abraded and subsequently inpainted in watercolor and dark pastel over the abrasions. Based on the configuration of the abrasions it appears that they occurred as a result of an attempt to alter or pare down the paper at these sites; perhaps to fit into an oval frame. (The frame was not seen by this conservator.) Both the lower right and lower left margins have seen abraded by contact with the frame rabbet. The primary support is made of toned laid paper. Its color is obscured by the overall covering of pastel. The edges of the sheet are very brittle and worn and have sustained a few small tears (at the center of the right edge in the shape of a triangle; a tear at the upper right edge in the spandrel; a loss at the upper left corner), The support has been mounted around its edges on the verso to off-white paper, which appears to have been part of the original mounting of the pastel as double paper layers were commonly found in pastels of this era. The sheet of millboard which is presently behind the composition is not original to it, as this mounting format was not used in the eighteenth century and the millboard is slightly smaller than the work of art. The composition is hinged along its lower edge to the lower edge of the millboard. This is precarious as the support could slump downward in its frame and the sheet could be easily torn. Recommendations The compromised condition of the spandrels cannot be successfully conserved, thus overmatting the corners and mounting the composition an oval frame is a reasonable solution to this problem. It is recommended that the white backing paper to which the primary support is adhered remain in place to provide a means of support. The tears along the edges should be repaired; the triangular tear on the right will require a small amount of inpainting. The surface dirt on the face is minor. It is not recommended that it be removed as this could damage the underlying powdery pastel. The composition should be entirely removed from the millboard backing, and hinged around the edges to a 100% ragboard support; at the least it should be hinged at the top to ragboard. Ragboard should be used as a barrier between the composition and the frame if the spandrels are covered. Ultraviolet filtering laminated glass is recommended for framing . Reduced light levels are necessary to preserve the colors and prevent embrittlement of the paper. Environmental levels should be maintained at 68-72F temperature and 50% relative humidity. Any transport should be carried out with the work of art in a horizontal face-up position and all vibrations should be avoided.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."
Exhibited: Paris, Salle Bonne-Nouvelle, L'Exposition des Artistes, 1847 (as cited in the 1853 auction catalogue).
Literature: J. Martin and C. Masson, "Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné de Jean-Baptiste Greuze," in C. Mauclair, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Paris 1906, p. 71, no. 1146 (as Greuze);
N. Jeffares, "Jean-Baptiste Greuze",  Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, London, 2006; online edition [http://www.pastellists.com/articles/greuze.pdf], update 27 February 2018, cat. no. J.361.4 (as a copy after Greuze). 
Provenance: With Otto Mündler (1811-1870) and Emmanuel Sano (d. 1878), Paris (as Jean-Baptiste Greuze);
Their sale, Paris, Bonnefons de Lavialle, March 14, 1853, lot 77 ( Portrait de l'artiste, pastel) for 790 francs (as Greuze);
With Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Paris, by April 1973;
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 31 January 2013, lot 80 (as Greuze).
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$10,000,000+ $1,000,000
SHIPPING SERVICES: Once your payment has been received and cleared, property may be released. Unless other-wise agreed by Sotheby's, all purchases must be removed by the 30th calendar day following a sale.

Collection and Delivery
Post Sale Services
+ 1 212 606 7444
FAX: + 1 212 606 7043
uspostsaleservices@sothebys.com

Shipping Services
Sotheby's offers a comprehensive shipping service to meet all of your requirements. If you received
a shipping quotation or have any questions about the services we offer please contact us.

Collecting your Property
As a courtesy to purchasers who come to Sotheby's to collect property, Sotheby's will assist in the packing of lots, although Sotheby's may, in the case of fragile articles, choose not to pack or otherwise handle a purchase.

If you are using your own shipper to collect property from Sotheby's, please provide a letter of authorization and kindly instruct your shipper that they must provide a Bill of Lading prior to collection. Both documents must be sent to Post Sale Services prior to collection.

The Bill of Lading must include: the purchaser's full name, the full delivery address including the street name and number, city and state or city and country, the sale and lot number.

Sotheby's will contact your shipper within 24 hours of receipt of the Bill of Lading to confirm the date and time that your property can be collected. Property will not be released without this confirmation and your shipper must bring the same Bill of Lading that was faxed to Sotheby's when collecting. All property releases are subject to the receipt of cleared funds.
Please see the Conditions of Sale for further details.

Endangered Species
Certain property sold at auction, for example, items made of or incorporating plant or animal materials such as coral, crocodile, ivory, whalebone, tortoiseshell, rhinoceros horn etc., irrespective of age or value, may require a license or certificate prior to exportation and additional licenses or certificates upon importation to another country. Sotheby's suggests that buyers check on their government wildlife import requirements prior to placing a bid. Please note that the ability to obtain an export license or certificate does not ensure the ability to obtain an import license or certificate in another country, and vice versa. It is the purchaser's responsibility to obtain any export or import licenses and/or certificates as well as any other required documentation. In the case of denial of any export or import license or of delay in the obtaining of such licenses, the purchaser is still responsible for making on-time payment of the total purchase price for the lot.

Although licenses can be obtained to export some types of endangered species, other types may not be exported at all, and other types may not be resold in the United States. Upon request, Sotheby's is willing to assist the purchaser in attempting to obtain the appropriate licenses and/or certificates. However, there is no assurance that an export license or certificate can be obtained. Please check with the specialist department or the Shipping Department if you are uncertain as to whether a lot is subject to these export/import license and certificate requirements, or any other restrictions on exportation.

Please see the Conditions of Sale for further details.
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Auction at a Glance

Master Paintings

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Sotheby's
May 22, 2018, 2:00 PM EST Live Auction

New York, NY, US