• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1984

    19th Century European Art

    8 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 12

    William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)

    Italien à la mandoline

    Price Realised  

    William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)
    Italien à la mandoline
    signed and dated 'W-BOUGUEREAU 1870' (upper left)
    oil on canvas
    39½ x 31¾ in. (100.3 x 83.2 cm)
    Painted in 1870.


    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

    Male images are extremely rare in the oeuvre of William Bouguereau. It is possible that this is due to the difficult relationship the artist had with his own father, a true Pater familias, who was tyrannical and severe.

    The model in L'Italien à la mandoline appears in three other works from the early 70s: Pifferano, 1870; Pifferano, 1874, and Enfant Italien tenant une croute de pain. Although painted in what is regarded as the artist's best period, this work has remained relatively unknown. It was never photographed or reproduced in the artist's lifetime nor by Goupil.

    We are grateful to Damien Bartoli for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

    This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Damien Bartoli with the assistance of Fred Ross, the Bouguereau Committee and the Art Renewal Center.

    Provenance

    with Goupil et Cie, Paris, 1870 (acquired directly from the artist).
    with Knoedler & Co., New York, 1871.
    with Goupil et Cie, Paris, 1878.
    with Knoedler & Co., New York, 1878.
    Thomas Hitchcok, USA.
    Anonymous sale; American Art Association, New York, 19-20 March 1914, lot 137.
    H. S. Harkness.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 19 April 2006, lot 96.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a Texas Collection


    Literature

    C. Vendryès, Dictionnaire illustré des Beaux-Arts: Bouguereau, Paris, 1885, p. 45.
    M. Vachon, W. Bouguereau, Paris-Lahure, 1900, p. 150.
    M. S. Walker, William Bouguereau-A Summary Catalogue of the Paintings, Borghi & Co, New York, 1991, p. 68.