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    Description

    Camille Félix Bellanger (French, 1853-1923)
    Daphnis and Chloe, 1893
    Oil on canvas
    57-1/4 x 43-1/4 inches (145.4 x 109.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Camille Bellanger 1893

    PROVENANCE:
    Edward Brandus, by 1908;
    his sale, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, April 2, 1908, Lot 108;
    Sotheby's, New York, February 22, 1989, lot 126;
    Sotheby's, New York, May 1, 2001, lot 37;
    Private collection, Los Angeles, California.

    EXHIBITED:
    Salon des Artistes Français de 1893, Paris, no. 110, entitled "Idylle."

    LITERATURE:
    Catalogue illustré de peinture et sculpture. Salon de 1893, Paris, no. 110, illustrated with a drawing after the painting p. 49;
    E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Paris, 1976, Vol. 1, p. 593.

    Bellanger's training at the École des Beaux-Arts under the best-known French academicians of the day, Alexandre Cabanel and William Bouguereau, left an indelible mark on his style. From Cabanel, Bellanger adopted a fondness for creating figures whose bodies effuse a warm light, which he places against a sky streaked with the glow of a sunrise or sunset. Like Bouguereau, Bellanger created images that have a smooth finish and riveting sense of stillness.

    The present work is an outstanding mid-career effort by Camille Bellanger, which treats a subject that epitomized academic painting of the period-a moment from the tender mythological love story of Daphnis and Chloe by the ancient Greek novelist, Longus. (Both Bouguereau and Cabanel painted the subject.) Daphnis and Chloe relates the story of infant boy and girl who are discovered separately, two years apart, on a Greek mountainside. Taken in by a goatherd and a shepherd, respectively, and raised near the town of Mytilene, they grow to maturity unaware of one another's existence - until the mischievous god of love, Eros, creates in them a sudden overpowering desire for one another. After various trials, including Daphnis's capture by pirates, Daphnis and Chloe are reunited with their families and married to each other. A masterpiece among early Greek romances, Longus transforms familiar themes from the romance genre - including pirates, dreams, and the supernatural - into a virtuoso love story that is rich in insight, humorous and ironical in its treatment of human sexual experience. The story became an enduringly fertile source of inspiration for musicians, writers and artists.

    For his depiction of the story, Bellanger chose a quiet but arguably the most romantic moment in the tale: when Daphnis and Chloe are about to kiss for the first time. Shown on bended knee, Daphnis is offering Chloe flowers as a token of his affection. The artist shows the lovers in locked gazes, in profile, enveloped by a bower of trees and a gleaming sky.


    Condition Report*: Canvas is glue-lined. Scattered craquelure throughout. Under UV exam, inpaint addressing frame abrasion fluoresces along the top and right edges. Other spots of inpaint are located in the background and around the foliage, a spot on the man's neck, on the woman’s forehead and around her eye and mouth. Her profile been strengthened. There appear to be a handful of small scattered touches of inpaint in the foreground and foliage. Some pigments fluoresce differently under UV, but an opaque varnish makes it difficult to detect any potential older restoration.
    Framed Dimensions 65.5 X 51.5 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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2020
    29th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,416

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