Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0035
Gaston Renault
(French, 1851-1933)

"Le Daphnis et La Chloe", 1881

oil on canvas
signed and dated lower left.
61" x 81-1/2", framed 75-3/4" x 96"

Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, April 25, 2006, lot 53.

Exhibited: Salon, Paris, 1881, no. 1983; Exposition des Beaux-Arts, Lille, 1881, no. 1112.

Literature: "Salon de 1881". Le Musee artistique et litteraire: revue illustree. Paris: Typographie Charles Unsinger, 1881, p. 406; Manson, R. H. The Paris-Salon, 1881.... London. Edward Stanford, 1881, p. 58 (room 31).

Notes: Gaston Renault was an accomplished realist painter trained in the 19th century canon of the French Academy, which privileged classically drawn figures executed in mythological and historical genre scenes over the avant-garde experimentation of the Romantics and later Impressionists. Renault studied with Tony Robert Fleury, a professor at the Academie Julien; Leon Bonnat, a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; and with William-Adolphe Bougereau, one of the penultimate proponents of French academic painting and president of the Societe des artistes francais. Renault debuted at the 1880 Salon to wide acclaim, which was quickly followed in 1881 with this epic painting of "Daphnis and Chloe." Executed with the finesse of Bougereau, it is a modern interpretation of a Classical pastoral that celebrates the beauty of the human form with particular emphasis paid to the female figure- the elongated and idealized torso through subtle linear modelling is executed with a controlled palette of porcelain-like ivory and tertiary hues of viridian and taupe. The contemporary visages and hair-styles, together with Daphnis' straw hat, contemporize the piece which critics immediately noted. In numerous Salon reviews, the 2nd century Greek pastoral was hailed a modern day Parisian love story of young bohemians from the Faubourg in which "love laughs in their naïve eyes; they are of elegance" beyond sin.

Reference: Le Musée artistique et littéraire: revue illustrée. Typographie Paris: Charles Unsinger, 1881.


In overall good condition. There are a few small areas of flaking/cleavage to the lower right edge, exposing the white canvas ground. The painting exhibits some minor areas of professionally done inpainted filler to the craquelure in the brown pigment in the young man's fur pelt, the tree knot beneath him and to the lower right corner. Some pinprick-sized holes are present along the right edge of the painting and some of the canvas seams are faintly visible. There is a vertical indentation with light abrading near the left canvas edge, likely due to friction from frame. Craquelure and light surface soiling are scattered throughout. Condition is commensurate with age and use.

Starting Bid


Buyer's Premium

  • 25%

Gaston Renault (French, 1851-1933)

Estimate $70,000 - $140,000Apr 21, 2018
333 St. Joseph Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
United States
Ask a Question|