Learn about our European Art specialists’ favorite works from our upcoming Fine European Art sale, taking place live in Dallas and online on May 24.
Bouguereau is famous for his pretty women and entrancing Madonna and Child imagery. I love this tender painting of a father and child (for a change of pace), and particularly admire the complex arrangement of child hands and adult hands overlapping and intertwining one another.
I love that given the flak Henrietta Rae had to endure as Britain’s foremost woman painter of the female nude of the pre-modern era, she decided with Psyche to paint a myth that had no men in it! In this work, one of the most ambitious of her career, she depicted 14 full-length female figures, either nude or semi-draped.
I find this sweeping scene of the North African desert very moving. It focuses on the elemental features of existence rather than a prettified exoticism. Sky, earth, and very scarce water are splayed out before the viewer in an almost cinematic expanse of space.
Sur les bords de la marne is one of my favorite works of art we have offered to date at Heritage. Painted on a grand scale, the composition bears all the hallmarks of high Impressionism, painted with Lebasque’s Post-Impressionist sensibility. The work features lively, broken brushstrokes, a movement away from realism, and a fresh sense of modernity for the first year of the 20th century.
When I viewed this work for the first time in person, the exquisite, lifelike face of this young rag-seller and her direct gaze had me awe-struck. My favorite aspect of this work is the contrast between the supple, porcelain appearance of the girl’s face, and her tattered clothing and soiled feet. Brun’s young girl is the classic embodiment of the romanticized street urchin of the Victorian era.
It is hard not to fall in love with this work. Not only is Till’s attention to painterly detail superb, but each of his characters truly comes alive in this composition—from the delightful young peasant girl to her feathered friends, each of which seems to display its own individual personality and expression.
Paintings of the sea have a special resonance for me and Charles Napier Hemy could capture the look and feel of the waves like no other. In this picture, I love the immediacy of the boats just coming into view in the rough waters and the swirling of the gulls hoping for a meal.
Raeburn’s skill at portraiture was undeniable and in this painting, he has captured a sweet moment between a mother and her child. I particularly appreciate how he has depicted the feeling of their close bond in a very satisfying way with just a playful, uplifted rose and a warm, motherly embrace.