• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1984

    19th Century European Art

    8 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 37

    Jean-Georges Vibert (French, 1840-1902)

    Les Apprêts

    Price Realised  


    Jean-Georges Vibert (French, 1840-1902)
    Les Apprêts
    signed 'J.G. Vibert' (lower left)
    oil on panel
    25 x 32 in. (63.5 x 81.5 cm.)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Vibert was a master of the small-scale amusing anecdotal scenes which had wide appeal among the sophisticated art patrons of Paris. His wife was an actress in the Commédie française and the influence of the theatre upon his painting is evident. For Vibert, the narrative was always essential to the artistic although the story is not always obvious. Fortunately, in his last year he published the two-volume La Comedie en Peinture in which he documented most of his works and provided explanatory narratives for each.

    Les Apprêts is described in the book titled L'Espagne Galante and is translated as the following:

    The Sun sparkles in the streets of Seville. It's a Sunday in summer. There must have been the running of the bulls and everyone got dressed to go out. In one hour there won't be a single soul that lives in any house in the town.

    They eagerly took a piece of fruit and a biscuit, flushed from a glass of Alicante. The Señora finishes getting ready and admires herself in the mirror resting on the corner of the table; her nimble fingers have knocked over the bouquet of roses brought in for her party. Chosen and then cast away just as the flower that complements her capricious beauty.

    At the other end of the table, a bit in the shadow, the student who loves her envelopes her with a passionate look. His smile is tender and sweet but his penknife that he is sharpening slowly, flashes with metallic light. She is a coquette, and he is jealous.


    Taft Museum, Cincinnati.

    Saleroom Notice

    The artist's name is the same as the previous lot and should read Jehan Georges Vibert.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Jehan-Georges Vibert, La Comédie en Peinture, Paris, 1902, vol. I, p. 72 (illustrated).