• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1984

    19th Century European Art

    8 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 14

    Guillaume Seignac (French, 1870-1924)

    An Afternoon Rest

    Price Realised  


    Guillaume Seignac (French, 1870-1924)
    An Afternoon Rest
    signed 'G-SEIGNAC' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    25¾ x 39¼ in. (65.4 x 99.7 cm.)

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    A student of William Bouguereau, Tony Robert Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier, Seignac exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon and won an honorable mention in 1900 and a third class medal in 1903. Throughout Seignac's career the influence of his teachers, particularly Bouguereau, and the teachings of the Academie des Beaux-arts are evident in his choice of subject matter as well as his skilled execution. It is often recognized that Seignac's best work closely resembles that of William Bouguereau's paintings of the 1890's, with its crisp execution and classical imagery attesting to the student's admiration for the teacher's mastery.

    Seignac took his master's instruction well, never veering from the traditions of the Academy, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism. The art produced from these movements attempted to synthesize both styles and are best exhibited in Seignac's work An Afternoon Rest. The present lot shows a young woman clothed in a diaphanous, yet rich aubergine-toned toga that is reminiscent of the Hellenistic drapery of Aphrodite. Stretched out in an alluring manner, the young woman rests on a white marble bench whose motifs recall antiquity. Seignac has captured a moment in time where the young maiden is about to take her afternoon rest. His precise depiction of the young girl and the elements that surround her in a languid and luxurious way is testament to the artist's complete understanding of the Academic tradition.


    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 20 April 2005, lot 64.