Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CHAUNCEY D. STILLMAN SOLD TO BENEFIT THE WETHERSFIELD FOUNDATIONThe Legacy of Chauncey Devereux Stillman Throughout his eighty-one years, Chauncey Stillman cultivated a rich life of the mind and spirit. A notable collector, conservationist, and philanthropist, Stillman forever advocated for the union of the world of art with the world of nature. It was a philosophy that culminated in the verdant fields, formal gardens, and stirring fine art of Wethersfield, the collector’s magnificent estate in Amenia, New York. There, Stillman lived by the principles of faith, generosity, and beauty, building a poignant legacy that continues to resonate today. Born in 1907, Chauncey Devereux Stillman was a member of one of the United States’ great banking families. Across multiple generations, Stillman’s forefathers transformed land and financial interests into a considerable fortune that included a controlling stake in what is now known as Citibank. After graduating from Harvard in 1929, Stillman moved to New York, where he studied Architecture at Columbia University. The collector served in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. Although he never formally practiced as an architect—serving instead as a director of the minerals firm Freeport for over four decades—Stillman’s interest in design was reflected in the tremendous achievement that is Wethersfield and its gardens. An avid equestrian and carriage enthusiast, Chauncey Stillman came across the future Wethersfield estate on a fox hunt in 1937. Comprising some twelve-hundred acres of Dutchess County woods and pasture, the land had been badly damaged by soil depletion and mismanagement, prompting the collector to combine several failing farms into one new property. In a nod to his family’s Connecticut roots, Stillman christened his new estate Wethersfield, and implemented a rigorous method of organic fertilizing, crop rotation, and planting to restore the land’s potential. At the time, Stillman’s efforts were radical, yet his approach ultimately turned the estate into a paragon of conservation and sustainability. In 1939, Chauncey Stillman commissioned architect L. Bancel LaFarge to design a residence at Wethersfield. LaFarge, who went on to serve as chief of the wartime ‘Monuments Men’, who were responsible for protecting Europe’s cultural treasures, and a founding member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, created a stately Georgian-style brick manor house at the property’s highest point. Elegantly appointed with period European furniture and works of fine and decorative art, the house would become a beloved retreat and site of contemplation for Stillman, his family, and friends. From the house at Wethersfield, Chauncey Stillman could look out on one of his greatest feats: Wethersfield Garden. Designed by the collector, in collaboration with landscape architects Bryan J. Lynch and Evelyn N. Poehler, it is a true horticultural masterwork—the architectural critic Henry Hope Reed called it the “finest classical garden in the United States built in the second half of the twentieth century.” In his house at Wethersfield, Chauncey Stillman displayed works from a remarkable private collection, that included paintings and works on paper by artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jacopo da Pontormo, Lorenzo di Credi, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Francesco Francia, Nicolas Lancret, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and Gilbert Stuart. Stillman's foundation has supported students at educational institutions including the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, where students continue to exhibit their work at the college’s Chauncey Stillman Gallery. A man who preferred quiet philanthropy to self-promotion, Stillman’s name came to greater prominence in 1989 with the auction of Jacopo da Pontormo’s Halberdier. The Mannerist masterpiece was purchased by Stillman in 1927 at the auction of his grandfather and father’s estate. He exhibited the Pontormo widely, lending it to institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Museum of Art, and the Frick Collection. After Stillman’s death, his estate offered the Pontormo at Christie’s New York to benefit his foundation, where it sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum for an astounding $35.2 million. This remains the most expensive Old Master ever sold at auction in the United States. Nearly eighty years after its establishment in 1938, the Wethersfield Foundation operates with a renewed sense of purpose, guided by the exemplary advocacy of Chauncey Devereux Stillman. The organization continues to preserve the house, gardens, and carriage museum at Wethersfield, while promoting the conservation of the natural world. Mr. Stillman also established the Wethersfield Institute for the promotion of educational, philosophical and scientific pursuits.PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CHAUNCEY D. STILLMAN SOLD TO BENEFIT THE WETHERSFIELD FOUNDATION
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)

L'Enfant au chien, fils de Madame Marthe et la chienne Pamela-Taussat

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
L'Enfant au chien, fils de Madame Marthe et la chienne Pamela-Taussat
oil on canvas
51 ¼ x 28 in. (127.6 x 71.1 cm.)
Painted in 1900
Dr. Georges Viau, Paris (by 1902).
Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 6 June 1907, lot 32.
Pierre Baudin, Paris (by 1914); sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 16 March 1921, lot 27.
Jos Hessel, Paris.
Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Paris (18 September 1936).
Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York (acquired from the above, 1936).
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 26 October 1936.
G. Coquiot, Lautrec, ou quinze ans de moeurs parisiennes, 1885-1900, Paris, 1921, pp. 161 and 212 (titled Enfant avec la chienne Paméla).
M. Joyant, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Peintre, Paris, 1926, p. 299.
E. Schaub-Koch, Psychanalyse d'un peintre moderne: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paris, 1935, p. 41.
M.G. Dortu, Tolouse-Lautrec et son oeuvre, New York, 1971, p. 426, no. P.700 (illustrated, p. 427).
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., H. de Toulouse-Lautrec, May 1902, p. 25, no. 96.
Paris, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Toulouse-Lautrec, January-February 1914, p. 3, no. 1.
Paris, Galerie Manzi Joyant, Exposition rétrospective de l'oeuvre de H. de Toulouse-Lautrec, June-July 1914, p. 10, no. 21 (titled Enfant avec la chienne Pamela).
New York, Jacques Seligmann & Co., Inc., French Masters from Courbet to Seurat, March-April 1937, no 21.
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., A Loan Exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec for the Benefit of The Goddard Neighborhood Center, October-November 1946, p. 36, no. 33.
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, March-April 1947, p. 11, no. 2 (illustrated).
New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Loan Exhibition: Toulouse-Lautrec, February-March 1964, no. 53 (illustrated; with incorrect medium)

Brought to you by

Jessica Fertig
Jessica Fertig

Lot Essay

In the tradition of a 17th century Van Dyck portrait of a young English prince posing with his favorite canine companion, Lautrec painted the life-size L’Enfant au chien in the latter half of 1900. The young boy, attired in French naval livery, is known only as the son of Madame Marthe X., presumably a lady of high standing in Bordeaux society, whose portrait Lautrec also painted during this time, using a smaller format, in his most sumptuous manner (Dortu, P. 699). The dog is Lautrec’s own, which he named Pamela. Working in his studio, the artist placed his subject in a marine setting that represents the beach at Taussat-les-bains on the Bassin d’Arcachon, a resort area for nearby Bordeaux.
Having sufficiently recovered from an overwhelming mental and physical collapse, brought on by alcoholism and an altogether dissolute night life, Lautrec’s two-and-a-half-month confinement in Dr. Sémelaigne’s Neuilly clinic came to an end in May 1899. At his mother’s insistence, the artist was entrusted to the guardianship of Paul Viaud de la Teste, a distant relative who grew up in Bordeaux. A teetotaler, Viaud became Lautrec’s constant companion, his “cornac” (“elephant-driver”), as the artist fondly called him. Keeping Lautrec away from his old haunts in Montmartre, Viaud realized, was key to the artist’s continuing convalescence, and they spent the summer on the coast, in Normandy and at Taussat. When they returned to Paris that fall, however, Lautrec quickly reverted to his accustomed self-destructive behavior, which Viaud was at a loss to control.
In June 1900 the two men travelled again to Taussat for the summer, and in October moved to Bordeaux, where they rented rooms at 66, rue de Caudéran. The local dealer Imberti lent the artist use of a studio on rue Porte-Dijeaux. “I am working very hard,” Lautrec wrote to Maurice Joyant on 6 December 1900. “You will soon have some shipments” (H.D. Schimmel, ed., Letters, no. 598). Among the paintings he completed by that date were the portraits of Madame Marthe X. and her son.
The center of attraction for Lautrec in Bordeaux was the city’s lively theater scene. “[Offenbach’s opéra-bouffe] La belle Hélène is charming us here [at the Théâtre Français],” Lautrec wrote to Joyant, “it is admirably staged; I have already caught the thing [Dortu, P 265]” (ibid.). Lautrec had long been fascinated with the story of Valeria Messalina, wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, infamous for her corruption and debauchery. He was delighted to attend on 19 December the French premiere of Silvestre and Morand’s play Messaline, with music by the English composer Isidore de Lara, at the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux. He praised Thérèse Ganne in the title role—“She is divine.” Having attended numerous performances, Lautrec painted four canvases depicting scenes in the play, evoking history as theater (Dortu, P. 703-706). Madame Marthe X. may have been affiliated with the production, as a participant or patroness. “I am very satisfied,” Lautrec wrote to Joyant of his recent work in Bordeaux, as he and Viaud prepared to return to Paris in April 1901 (Letters, no. 606).

More from Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

View All
View All