25 May 2004
CÉCILE VILLENEUVE (FRENCH, 1824-1901)
A young girl, in lace-bordered white dress with blue bows at shoulders, short brown hair; together with Marie de Polignac, Marquise d'Argentré, in white dress with pink rose and foliage pinned at corsage, her light brown hair plaited and curled
the former signed and dated 'Cécile Villeneuve 1855.' (mid-left), the latter signed 'Cécile Villeneuve' (mid-right) and inscribed and dated on the backing paper 'Marie de Polignac Comtesse d'Argentré Paris 1870'
ovals, 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.) and 1 3/8 in. (35 mm.) high, gold brooch frame with twisted outer border; and gilt-metal mount within pierced foliate border within rectangular velvet easel stand frame engraved with the sitter's name and date 1870 (2)
Acquired by the previous owner from a member of the Polignac family.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous
Ahead of the sale of portraits of four different muses, we focus on the women the artist came to depend on so passionately