• Living with Art auction at Christies

    Sale 12198

    Living with Art

    13 - 14 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 13

    Léon Bonnat (French, 1833–1922)

    Marshall Orme Wilson (1860–1926)


    This lot is offered without a reserve

    Léon Bonnat (French, 1833–1922)
    Marshall Orme Wilson (1860–1926)
    signed 'Ln. Bonnat' (upper left) and dated '1894-' (upper right)
    oil on canvas
    58 ½ x 40 ½ in. (148.6 x 102.9 cm)

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    Born in Nashville in 1860, Marshall Orme Wilson would become an important figure in late 19th century New York society. After graduating from Columbia College, Wilson joined his father’s baking firm, R. T. Wilson & Co., and became a director of the Union Trust Company. In 1884, Wilson proposed to Caroline ‘Carrie’ Schermerhorn Astor, a childhood friend, after following her to Paris. Their wedding, attended by nearly one thousand guests, was held in the art gallery of the Astor mansion in November of that year and was called 'the principal social event of the season' by the New York Times. As a wedding gift for the couple, the bride’s father, William Backhouse Astor, Jr., gave them a home at 414 Fifth Avenue, but in 1902 Wilson completed constructed on his own mansion at 3 East 64th Street, which would play host to the many philanthropic events organized by the Wilsons over the years. Today, the building serves as the Consulate General of India. The present portrait was painted in 1894, likely while the Wilsons were on a trip to Paris, where they had gotten engaged ten years before. The then 34 year-old businessman cuts a dapper and stylish figure, as would be expected of a man of his social standing.

    Special Notice

    This lot is offered without reserve.


    Marshall Orme Wilson (1894–1926).
    Orme Wilson, New York (1926–56), by descent.
    By whom gifted to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1956.

    Pre-Lot Text



    C. Sterling and M. M. Salinger, French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Volume 2, XIX Century, New York, 1966, p. 189, illustrated.


    San Jose, San Jose Museum of Art, Americans Abroad: Painters of the Victorian Era, 5 December 1975– 10 January 1976.