LONDON – Dreweatts will offer a recently discovered work by esteemed French artist Jean Victor Louis Faure (1786-1879) in its Old Master, British and European Art on Thursday, May 26. It carries an estimate of £30,000-£50,000. Because Faure’s work rarely appears at auction, it is expected to be highly sought after by collectors around the world. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
The discovery was made in a family home in Norfolk, where the painting had hung unnoticed for 60 years. The work, titled Market Day, The Pantheon, Rome was originally bought by the current owner’s father, Major H. Mosse of Mendham Priory, Harleston in Norfolk in 1965 and hung in the hall of the house, where it would bear witness to various generations of the family rushing past it, totally unaware of its importance.
Speaking about the find, Major H. Mosse’s son explained: “For the most part it was just seen as an impressive picture occupying a large wall space with the occasional glance to acknowledge its existence. It wasn’t until the end, when the house was cleared and the only item left was the picture still hanging on the wall in its same prominent position, which stood out even more so now. This piqued my interest to find out a little bit more about the artist Jean Victor Louis Faure, as obviously, I had never thought of asking my parents during their lifetime anything about the picture. Surprisingly, this has turned out to be an important rediscovery of this picture that I had grown up with.”
Dreweatts Head of British & European Pictures Brandon Lindberg explained: “Following on from our success last year with two monumental views of Rome by Frederick Lee Bridell (1831–1863), we are very pleased to offer another, even grander view of the Eternal City by the French painter Jean Victor Louis Faure. It is rare to find a work on this scale and age in such untouched and original condition. Faure’s work only occasionally comes on the market and the most comparable example to this sold more than a decade ago for in excess of £200,000, which is still the record price for the artist.”
Jean Victor Louis Faure was born to French parents living in Berlin at the end of the 18th century. On moving to Paris, he studied with the celebrated historical landscape painter Jean-Victor Bertin (1767-1842), whose paintings captured the Italian landscape. Influenced by Bertin’s works, in particular his treatment of light, Faure traveled to Italy to witness the beauty of the landscape himself, further developing his technique and exploring Italian artistic culture. This would influence his art going forward, and can be seen in the painting in the sale.
Market Day, The Pantheon, Rome captures the Pantheon in all of its glory, accentuated by Faure’s clever use of light, tone and color in oils. It draws the viewer into the painting, as if they are a participant standing just to the side of the hustle and bustle of market day, while admiring the ancient Roman monumental building that has influenced architects and painters alike for centuries.
The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.24.
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