Marie and Felix Bracquemond, Fondation Custodia, ADOR in Versailles… so much to see and so little time

parisdiaArt, Auction, Happy moments, Performing arts3 Comments

Felix Bracquemond, Portrait of Marie Bracquemond with a drawing, est.5 000 to 7 000€

On Tuesday April 30 at 2.30pm, Artcurial is auctioning Marie and Felix Bracquemond‘s drawings, paintings and Gobelins tapestries kept in the family until now. And also various services of plates, made by Creil et Montereau in 1866 and Haviland. This exceptional couple who met at the Louvre, were very close to the Impressionists. While Felix was mostly a printer (I discovered him at Henry Loyrette’s exhibition of Degas prints at Bibliothèque Nationale last year), Marie was a respected artist along Mary Cassatt and Eva Gonzalès. The variety of their talents is visible in this sale, where prices seem quite low and some of the ceramics made with Théodore Deck and Ernest Chaplet are brilliant. I spotted an enamelled turquoise stoneware cup (800-1000€) and an earthenware plate with a naked lady,  “Le Verger” from 1876 at 5 000€-8000€. Also a silk embroidery by Felix from 1905 “Sous bois au Printemps” (1 500€-2 000 €) and a self portrait by Marie (1 000€-1 500€).

Felix Bracquemond, “Rousseau à Peigné”, 1866, Creil et Montereau, est. 10 000-15 000€ at Artcurial

You can find the catalog on line and bid. The auction will be led at 2.30 on Tuesday April 30 by Matthieu Fournier.

Marie Bracquemond, Portrait of Pierre Bracquemond as a child, son of the artist, est. 20 000€ to 30 000 €

At Fondation Custodia, the new Belgian director, Stijn Alsteens (previously at Christie’s), was inaugurating with the curator of the show Hans Buijs, an exhibition in memory of Ger Luijten with 150 works (among 10 000 of which many letters an documents) which the regretted curator had acquired during his twelve years at the foundation. And a last minute addition was presented: a 1588 ink drawing by Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius “Prophetess Debora”, acquired from a private dealer a week after Alsteens started. The Custodia collection of drawings is among the largest and best private ones in the world and yet a room is devoted to paintings.

Hendrick Goltzius, Prophetess Debora, circa 1588, Fondation Custodia

Danish, British, German and Spanish works are exhibited in the beautiful Hotel particulier of rue de Lille along little known French drawings by Hilaire Ledru and Nicolas Delobel as well as Camille Corot or Paul Huet. Ger Luijten was a daring buyer who was  keen on teaching the public and he acquired many prints like the beautiful “Young woman sewing” by John Gudmann Rohde. A small oil on cardboard by John Constable, a “View of the Quirinal” by Edgar Degas, a “View of Paris from Meudon” by Georges Michel a painter he helped rediscover in 2018, a charming “Dunes on the beach of Skagen” by John Carl Neumann, ” Interior of a kitchen” by Petrus van Schendel, Hendrik Schepper’s “View of Vredeveldt’s house” and also two prints “Five spoons” dancing by Arent van Bolten

Hendrik Schepper, View of Vredeveldt House, 1761, fgift of Hans van der Ven

and “The Parabole of crazy virgins and wise virgins” by Jan Saenredam. It is very moving to see the choices made by the genius curator with a variety of mediums and prices.  Some wonderful contemporary artists, whom he liked to show in the downstairs gallery, Rein Cool, Anna Metz, Siemen Dijkstra, Charles Docker, Gérard de Palézieux are also present in the gallery. His whole team was present and we were all very moved to see his presence in teh house again through all these extraordinary works which he endlessly puchased

Rein Dool, Landscape, 2019

The exhibition “A passionate eye, twelve years of acquisitions by Ger Luijten” is until July 17 at Fondation Custodia. The catalog is on line.

Another magical moment of the week was the one hour performance of Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” at the Institut de France to promote the Friends of Versailles Royal opera ADOR. Now under the Académie des Beaux Arts presided by Adrien Goetz, the foundation it helps finance the Versailles Opera, its orchestra which just toured with 14 concerts in China and its Academy of young baroque singers. With a recent concert for the young in the Galerie des Glaces, and its own collection of records and a production of  “L’Olimpiade” by Cimarosa, it is becoming more and more successful under the direction of Laurent Bruner.

Young singers from the first promotion of  Académie de l’Opéra Royal in the courtyard of l’Institut last Wednesday with Francine Noguez in front and Flore Royer in red and Samuel Guibal in yellow

Flore Royer as Dido and Samuel Guibal and Aeneas were excellent and sang at the French Academy a meter away from Christophe Leribault, president of Versailles and Aline Foriel-Destezet, main benefactor of all Parisian operas and also Pierre and Béatrice Rosenberg who are keen baroque music lovers. The speeches were a little too long bu the season promises to be excellent with Fauré’s requiem on October 12, “Charpentier and Italy” on November 12, Polifemo by Porpora (sung by Farinelli in 1735 in London) in early December, featuring Franco Fagioli and Julia Lezhneva, and costumes by Christian Lacroix.

You can join ADOR and book for  the gala dinner on September 29 in Versailles. Dinner will take place in the galerie des Batailles after a concert in the opera and music in the chapel (950€ to 1200€).

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