Félix Henri GIACOMOTTI (1828-1909) Portrait... - Lot 42 - Artenchères

Lot 42
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6000 - 8000 EUR
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Result : 7 512EUR
Félix Henri GIACOMOTTI (1828-1909) Portrait... - Lot 42 - Artenchères
Félix Henri GIACOMOTTI (1828-1909) Portrait of the Countess of Moreton de Chabrillan, also known by her stage name Céleste Mogador. 1867 Oil on canvas, signed and dated on the right 100,5x81,5 cm (Some restorations) Hist: painting exhibited at the Salon de Paris in 1867 under the n° 647 where it was appreciated by the critics (Grand prix de Rome in 1854, the painter Giacomotti will be decorated with the legion of honor the same year) Extracts of the period: - Gazette des Beaux-Arts Paris, 1867, volume 22, p 526: "Should we call the portrait of Mme de M... by M. Giacomotti a masterpiece? Well, perhaps so! For sure, it is a skull painting, of a magnificent width. The attitude is of a rare nobility. The line is powerful and wide, the modelling firm and fat. There is at the same time vigor and grace, a great flexibility of brushes, a rich and precious coloring (...)" - Louis Auvray, artistic and literary review, volume 12, p 245 : " M.Giacomotti is not a painter of religious subjects, he is a portraitist, he has, with the taste of feminine elegance, a certain modernity, of allures. We like very much his portrait of the Countess M.C. ... by a tight drawing and careful not to omit anything important, Mr. Giacomotti has skilfully characterized the proud and gentle type of the pretty brunette ... ". The life of Elisabeth Céleste Venard is a real novel: born in 1824 in Paris, she comes from an extremely modest background. She fell into prostitution at a very young age and became a gallant woman and then a courtesan. She frequented the social circles of the mid-19th century. First a dancer, then an actress known as "La Mogador", she ended up owning her own theatre. In 1846-47, she posed for Thomas Couture, for the central character of his famous painting The Romans of Decadence. It was at this time that she met Count Moreton de Chabrillan, a penniless aristocrat whom she eventually married in 1854. She followed him to Australia where he had become a gold digger. She was widowed in 1858. Back in Paris, she devoted herself to writing and kept a mysterious reading room in the Passage de l'Opéra. She ended her days at the Asile de la Providence, rue des Martyrs, and died in 1909. Numerous photographs of Céleste have come down to us, at different ages of her life, and retrace her path as a light-hearted woman, dancer and actress, and then as a figure in the Parisian intellectual bourgeoisie. On our canvas, it is this social image that is highlighted. Madame la Comtesse is represented, still very beautiful, in a soft light. Her pose is restrained, respectable, wise. Giacomotti's talent is attached to the rendering of her widow's outfit, embroidered with black sequins. Let us note in passing the coquetry of the beautiful peacock feather headdress, betraying Celeste's concern to please. Her smile is all restraint, her gentle gaze appeals to us.
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