Auguste Louis Veillon (Swiss, 1834–1890)
PROPERTY FROM A BRITISH COLLECTION (LOTS 64, 66-71, 83, 95)
Auguste Louis Veillon (Swiss, 1834–1890)

The Temple at Philae

Details
Auguste Louis Veillon (Swiss, 1834–1890)
The Temple at Philae
signed 'A Veillon' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 ¾ x 31 ¾ in. (47.5 x 81 cm.)
Provenance
Dr. Hans Willi (1929-2005), Passfield Manor, Hampshire, acquired circa 1985.
And thence by descent to the present owner.

Brought to you by

Clare Keiller
Clare Keiller

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Lot Essay

The present lot depicts the ancient Temple complex on the island of Philae with the unequivocal presence of Trajan’s Kiosk. Captured by the artist at sunset, the soft surface of the Nile reflects the Kiosk and Temple of Isis as the Dhow and its crew prepare for the night. Amelia Edwards (1831 - 1892), British novelist and Egyptologist, wrote: 'The approach by water is quite the most beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage. Piled rocks frame it on either side, and the purple mountains close up the distance. As the boat glides nearer between glistening boulders, those sculptured towers rise higher and even higher against the sky. They show no sign of ruin or age. All looks solid, stately, perfect.'

In 1858 Auguste Veillon enrolled at the École des Beaux-Art in Paris where he spent considerable time studying the work of Claude Lorrain and the Dutch 17th century masters. He was particularly interested in the effect of light and it was a meeting with his neighbour, the famed Orientalist artist Eugène Fromentin, that marked a turning point in Veillon’s work and arouse his interest in orientalist subject matter. He travelled to Egypt in 1873 and was to return on three more occasions. His soft brush strokes and pastel colour palette were perfectly suited to capture the warmth of Egypt.

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