TravelGuides – ‘Worthless’ painting sells for £6.5million after artist is revealed as an 18th century French master

TravelGuides – ‘Worthless’ painting sells for £6.5million after artist is revealed as an 18th century French master

‘Worthless’ painting sells for £6.5million after it is recognized as a piece by 18th century French master

  • Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Philosopher Reading was found hanging in a flat
  • Its homeowners had handed it down by generations however thought of it nugatory
  • On Saturday, it bought for £6.5million at public sale, the third-highest sale for the artist
  • Painted round 1768, the picture reveals an aged man bent over a pile of books

A painting lengthy-thought of ‘insignificant’ by its proprietor has bought at public sale for €7,686,000 (£6.5million) after it was recognized as being the work of an 18th-century French master.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard painted Philosopher Reading round 1768, and in January, the depiction of a wispy haired man bent over a pile of books was found caked in mud in a flat in northern France.

Auctioneer Antoine Petit made the discover within the flat within the Marne area, the place the painting had lengthy held on the wall, handed down by generations however assumed to be nugatory.  

Petit had been requested to estimate the worth of the flat’s contents for inheritance functions and observed the painting whereas going about his work.

No one had talked about it to him as a chunk of potential curiosity or worth, however he was curious. 

‘I nonetheless determined to take it down to look at it and my impression was confirmed after I had it in my fingers,’ mentioned the auctioneer.

‘The painter’s contact was manifestly skilled, his brush strokes extremely frank.’

On the again of the ovular wood body, the phrase Fragonard might nearly be made out. 

A painting long-considered 'insignificant' by its owner has sold at auction for ¿7,686,000 (£6.5million) after it was identified as being the work of an 18th-century French master

A painting lengthy-thought of ‘insignificant’ by its proprietor has bought at public sale for €7,686,000 (£6.5million) after it was recognized as being the work of an 18th-century French master

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, painted Philosopher Reading around 1768, and in January, the depiction of a wispy haired man bent over a pile of books was discovered caked in dust in a flat in northern France. Pictured: Fragonard in a self-portrait

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, painted Philosopher Reading round 1768, and in January, the depiction of a wispy haired man bent over a pile of books was found caked in mud in a flat in northern France. Pictured: Fragonard in a self-portrait

Experts confirmed the painting was certainly by Fragonard and recognized it as Philosopher Reading.

There had been no identified hint of the work because it was final auctioned in 1796. The Art Newspaper reported that at one level, the painting had been owned by Pierre Adolph Hall, a miniaturist and buddy of Fragonard.

Stéphane Pinta, one the consultants who authenticated the work, informed AFP information company that the artist was aged round 40 and on the top of his powers when Philosopher Reading was painted.  

‘The paint appears to be moulded or sculpted, at instances even utilized immediately with a finger. Freed from the acute minutia of the Rococo type, his brush strokes are fast, exact and extremely expressive,’ he mentioned.    

While finest identified for his erotic and romantic type, Fragonard additionally painted some 10 works exhibiting older males within the type of the Dutch master Rembrandt, of which Philosopher Reading is one.

Until it was discovered and identified in January, there had been no known trace of the work since it was last auctioned in 1796

Until it was found and recognized in January, there had been no identified hint of the work because it was final auctioned in 1796

It went beneath the hammer as soon as once more at Encheres-Champagne auctioneers in Épernay on Saturday with an estimate of €1.5 million to €2 million (£859,025 to £1,717,870.00).

Bidding escalated with a London gallery proprietor vying with a French personal collector and an American one. 

Petit didn’t reveal who made the profitable bid, the third-highest value ever paid for a Fragonard. 

The file was set in 2013 at Bonham’s London, the place certainly one of Fragonard’s fantasy portraits, The Portrait of François-Henri d’Harcourt, bought for £17.1million.

Pictured: A statue of Fragonard in his hometown of Grasse, a town on the French Riviera

Pictured: A statue of Fragonard in his hometown of Grasse, a city on the French Riviera

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TravelGuides – ‘Worthless’ painting sells for £6.5million after artist is revealed as an 18th century French master