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Henry Lerolle (French, 1848-1929)
PROPERTY OF A NEW YORK COLLECTOR
Henry Lerolle (French, 1848-1929)

À l'orgue

Details
Henry Lerolle (French, 1848-1929)
À l'orgue
signed 'h Lerolle' (lower right)
oil on canvas
40 x 59 ¾ in. (101.6 x 151.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1885.
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 13 February 1985, lot 197, as The Audition.
Exhibited
Paris, Musée d'Orsay, Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity, 25 September 2012 - 20 January 2013 and New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 26 February - 27 May 2013, and Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, 26 June - 22 September 2013, no. 133, as The Rehearsal in the Choir Loft.

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Lot Essay

The present painting is a reduction, of about a third of the size, of the monumental work by the same title currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met version was exhibited by the artist in the Salon of 1885, and this composition ranks among the artist’s most important and well-known works. Set in the choir loft of the church of Saint-François-Xavier in Paris, the figures depicted are the artist’s own circle of friends and family. Included are the artist’s wife, seated in a brown dress and not wearing a hat, her sisters, one seated and one singing and both wearing fashionable matching hats, and the artist’s brother-in-law, the composer Ernest Chausson, who is playing the organ. A self portrait of the artist, staring out of the picture, is also included at left. When the larger version was exhibited in the Salon, one critic remarked, 'spectators … spoke low before it, as if waiting for … the voice of the singer to be heard.'
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