lunes, 3 de julio de 2017

ALEXANDRE III || Christa Zaat

Christa Zaat

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y exterior

Jean Béraud (French painter) 1849 - 1935
Entre le Petit et le Grand Palais, Avenue Alexandre-III, s.d.
oil on panel
37.8 x 54.9 cm. (14.87 x 21.87 in.)
signed Jean Béraud. (lower left)
private collection

Catalogue Note Sotheby's sale
In 1900, the Exposition Universelle returned to Paris with the construction of the pont Alexandre III, its distinct columns with their gilded “Fames” visible in the distance of the present work, along with the Hôtel des Invalides, and the Petit and Grand Palais (which replaced the Palais de l’Industrie) at the composition’s left and right, respectively. In that momentous year, the Grand Palais hosted two exhibitions, one of which, the Centennial Exhibition of French Art (1800-1889), included works by Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Béraud’s own À la salle Graffard (1884, Private Collection). While Béraud painted scenes of the 1889 Exposition and the crowds visiting the newly opened Eiffel Tower, over a decade later, the edifices of the great exhibition halls became backdrops to the panorama of men and women on foot and in cabs who throng along the avenue Alexandre III (Offenstadt, p. 72, 138). Indeed, many of the exhibits and promotions surrounding the 1900 Exposition centered around the cultural and recreational pursuits of Paris, many of which are suggested in Beraud's scene: from the bohemian artist with scruffy beard carrying a stretched canvas to a tourist pointing out the sites in the distance to his female companions, and at center a woman with fur stole and red coat swinging two large hat boxes as she strolls. This shopper, like many Parisiennes, became a standard image of French culture in the second half of the nineteenth century, as masters of fashion (Docuet, Paquin, see lots 43 and 49) established themselves in Paris and gained worldwide fame (Charles Rearick, Paris Dreams, Paris Memories: The City and its Mystique, Stanford, California, 2011, p. 35). Fittingly, the icon for the “city of Paris” at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 was a statue of a slender woman whose costume was designed by Jeanne Paquin and, according to a contemporary journalist, defined the Parisienne “as distinguished from other women by an understated elegance appropriate to every circumstance in life. Her characteristics are restraint, good taste, innate refinement, and that indefinable something which is unique to her, a mixture of allure and modernism that we call chic” (as translated from the French, “Les midinettes,” Fémina, October 1, 1902, n.p.). Just as the Exposition promoted the everyday wonders of Paris, Béraud's works brought the city’s life to collectors throughout Europe and, notably, the United States. As with many of his compositions, Éntre le Petit et le Grand Palais, avenue Alexandre III is first recorded in a New York gallery before entering a collection of a series of American collectors, including Mrs. Thompson Biddle.

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y exterior

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