Christie’s France is proud to present, in collaboration with the auction house Tajan, an important set of 27 paintings and drawings from the Collection Marcille, certainly one of the most far-sighted collectors of 19th century art in France, initiated by Francois Marcille, and continued by his two sons, Camille and Eudoxe. Over a period of thirty-five years, Francois Marcille made a large number of acquisitions, resulting in an exceptional collection of 4,600 paintings and other works.
Although the entire collection has been dispersed by inheritance in the family, collectors will now be able to acquire 27 works, including several masterpieces, from major artists of the 18th and early 19th centuries: Jean-SimÃ©on Chardin, Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, ThÃ©odore Gericault, Charles Coypel, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, etc. The collection is estimated between â¬ 5.7 million and â¬ 9.1 million
âThere are names of collectors who are real stamps, quality labels. The name of Marcille evokes the excellence of the French eighteenth century, and even more vigorously for Chardin, La Tour and Prud’hon. ‘
Pierre Etienne, director of the Old masters paintings
The Goncourts said of Camille Marcille that we should ‘study Chardin [at his home] do full justice to the painter.In 1979, during Chardin’s monographic exhibition at the Grand Palais, the Marcille family lent 22 paintings by the painter, including our superb genre scene representing a Woman at the Fountain (5,000,000-8,000,000 â¬). A true 18th century masterpiece, this painting entered their collection in 1848 and contributed to the rediscovery of Chardin in the 19th century during the first exhibition dedicated to the artist in France in 1860.
ThÃ©ophile Gautier was impressed with this very original work and wrote that it showed ‘that no one had ever talked about‘. Chardin, not inscribed in the canon of his time, preferred the poetic scenes of everyday life to the more frivolous portraits of the century. Described as the French Vermeer of the 19th century, his genre scenes were the most sought after and extremely rare on the market. Woman fetching water is one of the very first genre scenes in which Chardin fully revealed. Famous, the composition is taken over by the master, as usual.
Several museums in the world have a version, including the first, of the Salon of 1737, on panel in Stockholm and the Toledo art museum. The version presented here, which has remained until now in the Marcille collection and the last in private hands, has never appeared on the market since 1848. Another painting by Chardin will be part of this sale, Still life with monochrome relief (Winter), (80,000-120,000 â¬).
This is another testament to the Marcille the family passion for the painter as well as another facet of the artist: the trompe l’oeil. Passionate about the 18th century, Camille and Eudoxe Marcille, both curators respectively of the Chartres and OrlÃ©ans museums, will complete their personal collection of the great painters of the time, notably with a lively landscape of Hubert Robert (Landscape with a small bridge, estimated between 30,000 and 50,000 â¬) as well as two portraits of that of Nattier brilliant student, Louis TocquÃ©.
In the drawings section of the sale, the 18th century is represented by an important pastel of Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Portrait of Anne-Jeanne CassanÃ©a de Mondonville, nÃ©e Boucon (400,000-600,000 â¬, right ill.), Considered by the critics of the time as’one of the most interesting‘pastel portraits of the artist,’amazing by its resemblance‘.
In this well-preserved pastel, the young woman, wife of composer Jean-Joseph de Mondonville and famous full-fledged musician, smiling slightly, dressed in a richly embroidered blue coat, is represented leaning against her harpsichord, an instrument of her was a virtuoso of.
A very nice group of ten sheets of Pierre-Paul Prud’hon will also be included in this sale. The Marcilles had a particular passion for this neoclassical artist who gave drawing a prominent place in his work, typically associating black chalk and white chalk on blue-gray paper.
The set illustrates the diversity and iconographic richness of the artist’s drawings. Among the highlights, the portraits, including that of Baroness Alexandre de Talleyrand at the age of seven (25,000 – 35,000 â¬ remaining) and a Head of Napoleon in a medallion, which was later engraved by Alexandre Tardieu (â¬ 20,000-30,000).
Finally, Prud’hon’s attachment to the Empire is reflected in the collection of Design for the Cradle of the King of Rome estimated at â¬ 25,000-35,000, created later by Philippe thomire and Odiot, now in the Schatzkammer in Vienna, and one Design of a chair for the Empress Marie-Louise (â¬ 12,000-18,000).
Sale: November 22 at 6 p.m.
Exhibitions: From November 3 to 6 at the Espace Tajan, 37 rue des Mathurins, 75008 Paris
and from November 18 to 22, 2021 at Christie’s, 9 Avenue Matignon 75008 Paris