• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12143

    19th Century European Art

    26 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 23

    Eugène Devéria (French, 1805-1865)

    The Reluctant Scholars- Portraits of Mr. G. Barber's Sons

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Eugène Devéria (French, 1805-1865)
    The Reluctant Scholars- Portraits of Mr. G. Barber's Sons
    oil on canvas
    50 x 39 ¾ in. (127 x 101 cm.)


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    Eugène Devéria is best known as a painter of historical scenes, enjoying early success with his Naissance de Henri IV (Musée du Louvre) in 1827, and he also became an accomplished portrait artist. Between 1849 and 1856 he paid three visits to Scotland, exhibiting a total of 35 paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy, many of them portraits. Of the recorded titles of his exhibits only one seems to relate closely to the present picture, ‘The Reluctant Scholars – portraits of Mr G Barber’s sons’, exhibited at the RSA in 1852. In the absence of further information it has seemed reasonable to adopt this as a provisional title.

    The boys, who carry fishing rods and a cricket bat, are evidently bent on outdoor pursuits. The younger boy wears a striped woollen sash that has been identified as typical of traditional French-Canadian costume; it was ‘tied around the waist to stop draughts of cold air from blowing up under their wide outer garments’.

    For a comparable group portrait by Devéria see Sir Lawrence Davidson and his sons, in the exhibition catalogue Eugène Devéria 1805-1865. La peinture et l'histoire, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Pau, Pau, France, 16 December 2005 - 19 March 2006, p. 80.

    The present painting will be included in Olivia Voisin's forthcoming Eugène Devéria catalogue raisonné.

    Provenance

    with Martyn Gregory Gallery, London.
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner, 1983.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that this painting will be included in Olivia Voisin's forthcoming Eugène Devéria catalogue raisonné.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ENGLISH COLLECTION