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    Description

    Louis Marie de Schryver (French, 1862-1912)
    Le marché aux fleurs de la Madeleine, 1891
    Oil on canvas
    21-1/2 x 25-3/4 inches (54.6 x 65.4 cm)
    Signed and dated lower left: De Schryver 1891

    PROPERTY FROM THE MERRYL ISRAEL ARON FAMILY TRUST

    PROVENANCE:
    Private collection, Michigan;
    Christie's, New York, October 16, 1991, lot 7A;
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.

    Louis Marie de Schryver exhibited his first work at the 1876 Salon at the unusually young age of thirteen. A precocious talent, the artist made his debut with two floral still lifes, and would continue working in his favored genre of still life painting for several more years, exhibiting at the following two Salons, and winning a bronze medal at the 1879 World's Fair of Sydney for his painting entitled Lilas (Lilacs) at the age of 17.

    By 1886, de Schryver, like many artists of this period, had turned his attention to the subject of daily life in Paris. Depictions of fashionable society on the streets of the French capital had become increasingly popular during the period of La Belle Époque, as artists became fascinated with the fleeting moments of city life. These painters strove to capture everything from the bustle of stylish women to the architectural monuments of a recently modernized Paris.

    Executed in 1891 at the height of his development as a painter, Le marché aux fleurs de la Madeleine encapsulates all of the elements central to de Schryver's artistic prowess: a focus on a glorious and bountiful floral still life, the capturing of a fleeting moment in daily city life, and the depiction of society men and women in elegant dress.

    In this work, the viewer's eye is drawn immediately to the colorful flower stand and young flower seller seemingly gathering a bouquet of pink blooms for her customer, a stylish gentleman caught in a candid moment adjusting his cane and gloves. The eye is then drawn outward to the bustling boulevard beyond. An elegant woman proceeds away from the viewer with her own recently purchased floral arrangement, a standard poodle pauses with its owner to watch a horse-drawn carriage trot past, and the identifiable sign of the Marché couvert de Passy peeks out past the trees, its colorful windows suggesting lively activity within.

    Indeed, the famous Passy covered market where sophisticated Parisians would purchase fresh produce, baked goods, cheese, fish and other gourmet food items, was then and is still an iconic shop in the historic heart of Paris. But, rather than figuring prominently as it might if de Schryver wanted to suggest a conventionally composed scene, its sign is only partially visible-treating the viewer as if they are a participant in this moment, taking it all in as a casual observer.

    De Schryver's views of Paris had become extremely popular and critically acclaimed at the time the present work was executed. Praise was lavished on the artist not only for his technical skill, but for the spontaneity of his compositions. His depictions of flower vendors, horses and carriages, and sophisticated city-dwellers were saturated with a realism and light that positioned de Schryver at the pinnacle of Belle Époque artists. Gérald Schurr, an art collector and French journalist, wrote appreciatively, "Schryver demonstrates accents of passion, outbursts of pure color and tones which ring true. His scenes of Paris are often bathed in a light of rare subtlety." (Les Petits Maîtres de la Peinture 1820 - 1920, Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1986, pg. 173). Indeed, imbued with jewel-like color, a dignified elegance, and keen attention to detail, Le marché aux fleurs de la Madeleine is a tour-de-force of the artist's oeuvre.


    Condition Report*: Original canvas. Under UV light there is a 1/4 x 2 1/2in area of inpaint (with corresponding patch on the reverse) in the flowers and hem of woman's skirt to right of center. The inpaint has discolored and is visible in natural light. There are two small spots above the man's gloves and two small spots in background to the left of the flower seller which fluoresce and which appear to be due to restoration. Surface dirt. discolored varnish. Extensive fine to intermediate craquelure. Framed Dimensions 26.5 X 31 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    24th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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