EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)
EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)
EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)
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EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)
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EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)

Au bord de la mer (Honfleur)

Details
EVA GONZALES (1849-1883)
Au bord de la mer (Honfleur)
signed 'Eva Gonzales' (upper left)
pastel on canvas
18 1/4 x 15 1/8 in. (46.3 x 37.2 cm.)
Executed in Honfleur in 1881
Provenance
Jules Rouam, Paris (1882).
Henri Guérard, Paris (1885).
Jeanne Guérard-Gonzalès, Paris (by descent from the above, 1897).
Jean-Raymond Guérard-Gonzalès, Paris (by descent from the above, 1924, until at least 1959).
Private collection (by 1990).
Galerie Hopkins-Custot, Paris.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 18 March 2005.
Literature
"L'art et les artistes au Salon de 1882" in L'Artiste, vol. 2, April 1882, p. 141.
E. Véron, "Chronique des ateliers" in Courrier de l'art, vol. II, no. 14, 6 April 1882, p. 157.
P. Leroi, "Le Salon de 1882" in L'Art, October-December 1882, p. 96.
P. de Katow, "L'exposition Eva Gonzalès, Salons de la 'Vie Moderne'" in Gil Blas, no. 1887, 17 January 1885, p. 3.
C. Marx, "L'exposition Eva Gonzalès" in Le Journal des Arts, 20 January 1885, p. 2.
P. Bayle, "L'exposition d'Eva Gonzalès" in La Vie Feminine, Excelsior, no. 1239, 7 April 1914, p. 2.
H. Genet, "Notes d'art, deux expositions retrospectives: Eva Gonzalès, Berthe Morisot" in La Republique Française, 9 April 1914, p. 2.
R. Bouyer, "Expositions et concours" in Le Bulletin de l'art ancien et moderne, vol. 16, no. 620, 11 April 1914, p. 118, no. 620.
C. Roger-Marx, Eva Gonzalès, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1950 (illustrated in color on the cover).
E. Nestor-Somlyo, "Eva Gonzalès" in Die Kunst und Das Schöne Heim, vol. 49, no. 10, July 1951, p. 379 (illustrated).
F. Mathey, Six femmes peintres, Paris, 1951, p. 8, no. 26 (illustrated; titled A la fenêtre ou Au bord de la mer).
S. Monneret, L'impressionnisme et son époque, dictionnaire international, Paris, 1978, vol. 1, p. 309.
M.-C. Sainsaulieu and J. de Mons, Eva Gonzalès: Etude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1990, p. 238, no. 110 (illustrated, p. 239; illustrated again in situ in the 1885 exhibition, p. 274).
Exhibited
Paris, Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon, May 1882, no. 3279.
Paris, Salons de la Vie Moderne, Catalogue des peintures et pastels de Eva Gonzalès, January 1885, p. 38, no. 83.
Paris, Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, Salon d'automne, October 1907, p. 264, no. 11 (titled A la fenêtre).
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Eva Gonzalès, March-April 1914, pp. 8 and 10, no. 25 (illustrated, p. 8; titled A la fenêtre).
Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Exposition retrospective: Eva Gonzalès, June-July 1932, no. 29 (titled A la fenêtre).
Paris, Galerie Alfred Daber, Eva Gonzalès, March-April 1950, no. 18 (titled A la fenêtre).
Monaco, Musée national de Monaco, Exposition Eva Gonzalès, March 1952, no. 23 (titled A la fenêtre).
Paris, Galerie Daber, Eva Gonzalès, May-June 1959, no. 25 (titled A la fenêtre).
Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle and Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond, February-September 2009, p. 208, no. 3 (illustrated in color).
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.
Sale room notice
Please note that this painting has been requested by the Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris for their exhibition Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883) in Fall 2024.

Brought to you by

Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco Head of 20th Century Evening Sale, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art

Lot Essay

Eva Gonzalès, a former student of the so-called father of Modernism, Edouard Manet, specialized in the depiction of Parisiennes, fashionable young women engaged in the quiet rituals of domestic life. With Au bord de la mer (Honfleur), Gonzalès also demonstrated her exceptional fluency with the medium of pastel. This fully-conceived composition, executed on canvas, depicts a young woman gazing at the pale green sea off the Normandy coast. Silk fan in hand, she leans against the window sill, as if eager to feel the cooling sea breeze against her cheek.
The subject of Au bord de la mer (Honfleur) wears a pale blue, bustled silk gown; Gonzalès employed a range of pigments to suggest the gathered pleats of this material, as well as the sheen of the young woman’s thick, wavy brown hair, tied back with a bright red ribbon. We can see little else of the room in which this young woman sits, so tightly is the composition cropped. The window panes on the left edge of the canvas reflect only the muted gray sky and the bright green vines that frame the window. The surface of the desk at which the young woman sits is piled with papers—including a folded copy of Gil Blas, a Parisian literary magazine. Indeed, Gonzalès seems to have relished in these subtle material details and conveyed them quite convincingly with pastel.
Gonzalès made the unusual choice to depict her subject from behind, concealing her identity and expression. Whether she is excited, pensive or bored, the work depicts the artist’s favorite and most frequent model: her younger sister, Jeanne, who also aspired to be an artist (much like another talented sororal duo, Berthe and Edma Morisot). The Gonzalès sisters were born in Paris into an haute bourgeoise family of Spanish and Belgian origin, and remained close throughout their lives. Jeanne may have accompanied Gonzalès and her husband, the French engraver Henri Guérard, to Honfleur, a port city on the coast of Normandy, where the couple often escaped the summer heat of Paris. Interestingly, this scene reciprocates Jeanne’s own portrait of Gonzalès seated by a window, looking at sailboats in the nearby coastal town of Dieppe, painted around 1880 (sold Christie’s, New York, 13 November 2017, lot 378).
Unlike Morisot, another protégée of Manet, Gonzalès never exhibited with the Impressionists; she preferred instead to submit her work to the official Salon, then the dominant exhibition venue in Paris. Yet Gonzalès met only modest success there in the 1870s and early 1880s. Her contemporary, the art critic Maria Deraismes, came to her defense—imagining that jurors had rejected her from the Salon of 1874 not only because she was a female artist, but because of her affiliation with the radical Realist, Manet: “Mademoiselle, it is evident that you have talent, that you have a future; but aside from the fact that we detest women who devote themselves to art because they compete with us and this irritates us, you are a pupil of Manet, and that fault is unforgivable” (quoted in A. Boime, “Maria Deraismes and Eva Gonzalès,” Woman’s Art Journal, Autumn 1994, vol. 15, no. 2, p. 33). Au bord de la mer (Honfleur) was accepted, however, to the Salon of May 1882—the same exhibition that featured Manet’s own final masterpiece, Un bar aux Folies Bergère (The Courtauld Gallery, London).
The following year, Gonzalès died at the age of thirty-four due to complications from the birth of her only son, Jean-Raymond. Her sudden and unexpected death came just a week after that of her mentor, Manet, and two years after the execution of Au bord de la mer (Honfleur). During her lifetime, the artist may have gifted this work to the fine art publisher Jules Rouam. However, the pastel re-entered the Guérard family collection around 1885—the same year that they organized a posthumous exhibition featuring at least eighty-eight oil paintings and pastels, including the present work. Many of those works were subsequently sold at auction, but Au bord de la mer (Honfleur) remained in Gonzalès’s family, passing from her husband to her sister to her son, for at least the next four decades.

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