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Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883)

La lecture au jardin (Femme au chapeau rouge)

Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883)
La lecture au jardin (Femme au chapeau rouge)
stamped with the signature 'Eva Gonzalès' (upper left)
pastel and charcoal on canvas
15 1/8 x 21 7/8 in. (38.5 x 55.5 cm.)
Executed circa 1880-1882
Sauvage, by 1885.
Jeanne Guérard-Gonzalès, Paris, by 1907.
Jean-Raymond Guérard, Paris, by 1924.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York.
Woolworth collection, United States.
Galerie Hopkins-Thomas, Paris.
Acquired by the present owner in 1991.
L. Hautecoeur, 'Exposition Eva Gonzalès', in La chronique des arts et de la curiosité, no. 15, 11 April 1914, p. 115.
F. Monod, 'L'impressionnisme féminin', in Art et Décoration, supplément, May 1914, p. 3.
M.-C. Sainsaulieu, Eva Gonzalès, 1849-1883, étude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1990, no. 115, p. 248 and 277 (illustrated p. 249 and in photograph p. 276).
'The Women Stars of Impressionism', in International Herald Tribune, 16-17 October 1993, p. 9
La Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot, no. 38, 22 October 1993, p. 89.
P. Piguet, 'Impressions de femmes', in La croix l'événement, 23 November 1993.
Paris, Salons de La vie moderne, Exposition-rétrospective d'Eva Gonzalès, January 1885, no. 85.
Paris, Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon d'automne, October 1907, no. 15 (titled 'Le chapeau rouge').
Paris, Chez MM. Bernheim-Jeune, Eva Gonzalès, May - June 1914, no. 28 (titled 'Le chapeau rouge').
Paris, Galerie Alfred Daber, Eva Gonzalès, March - April 1950, no. 16 (titled 'La femme au chapeau rouge').
Monaco, Le Sporting d'Hiver, Eva Gonzalès, March 1952, no. 27 (titled 'Le chapeau rouge').
Paris, Galerie Alfred Daber, Eva Gonzalès, May - June 1959, no. 28 (titled 'Le femme au chapeau rouge').
Paris, Musée Marmottan, Les femmes impressionnistes, October - December 1993, no. 50 (illustrated; illustrated on the exhibition poster).
Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, Impressionistinnen, February - June 2008 (illustrated p. 213); this exhibition later travelled to San Francisco, The Fine Art Museums, June - September 2008.
Special notice
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Sale room notice
Please note that dimensions of this work are larger than stated in the catalogue, and should read 15 1/8 x 21 7/8 in. (38.5 x 55.5 cm.).

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Giovanna Bertazzoni
Giovanna Bertazzoni

Lot Essay

La lecture au jardin (Femme au chapeau rouge) is an exquisite picture by one of the greatest of the female Impressionists, Eva Gonzalès. This picture was executed only a few years before Gonzalès' untimely death, and shows an artist at her prime. She reveals her artistic lineage as a friend, and indeed the only true pupil, of Edouard Manet, yet this picture features a lightness perhaps lacking in her teacher's works. She has captured a certain lushness, freshness and spontaneity that is accentuated through her deft use of the medium, giving it the sense that it is indeed a snapshot of a woman reading in a garden. At the same time, her bold use of colour, with the red hat deliberately thrust into relief by its contrast with the foliage in the background, shows the artist's boldness, her willingness to explore and invent, relying on a constantly revolutionary and innovative tendency that had played its part in gaining Manet's admiration.

The quality of La lecture au jardin (Femme au chapeau rouge) is clearly demonstrated by its extensive exhibition history, which includes shows stretching back more than a century and beginning with Gonzalès' posthumous retrospective, organised in 1885 to great acclaim. La lecture au jardin (La femme au chapeau rouge) was acquired by Jeanne Guérard-Gonzalès, the sister of Eva and the model illustrated wearing the red hat. An artist in her own right, Jeanne married Eva's widower Henri Guérard, who was himself a friend and the preferred print-maker of Manet. The closeness of Manet to the Gonzalès sisters is reflected in the fact that both women featured in a number of his pictures. When Eva died, she had given birth only days earlier to a son, Jean-Raymond; her rapid decline apparently followed the shock of hearing of her former tutor's death. Jeanne therefore raised Jean-Raymond as her own son; both aunt and son were likewise successful artists, Jean-Raymond becoming involved in stage design; he appears to have inherited La lecture au jardin (Femme au chapeau rouge) from Jeanne upon her death in 1924. More recently, the work was included in the celebrated Les femmes impressionnistes exhibition held at the Musée Marmottan in 1993. It was widely acclaimed as a highlight of the show, and as a major work by Eva Gonzalès, featuring in many art critics' reviews of the exhibition.

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