A medal-winning Orientalist painting by Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger (1824-88) is estimated at £40,000-60,000 on March 20, with a sculpture, La Jeune Fille de Mégare, by Louis-Ernest Barrias (1841-1905), expected to bring £60,000-80,000 on March 21. The lots come from different vendors and were reunited last week at the auction house’s South Kensington office.
The lifesize silvered bronze figure of a nude spinning girl by Barrias, a sculptor of the Beaux-Arts school, was exhibited at the Weltausstellung 1873 Wien together with an identical white marble statue of the same size. The marble version, pictured in a stereoscopic photo taken at the time, had earlier been purchased by the French state for 6000 francs and is now in the Musée d’Orsay collection.
Reductions of the artist’s other bronzes have come to auction in recent years and realised strong prices. However, it seems no smaller versions of this 4ft 2in (1.26m) sculpture were made. It was purchased by the present owner from a gallery in Switzerland around 40 years ago.
The oil by Boulanger – like Barrias, a winner of the Prix de Rome – was consigned by a separate private owner. It depicts luxuriously dressed Grecian ladies promenading at the city walls and is signed and dated 1869. The original gilt frame includes a plaque reading Medaille Gde Exp Vienne 1873.