Fragonard: a rediscovered masterpiece

As every year, the Old Master & 19th Century Art department will hold its prestige sale on 22nd November, in conjunction with Fine Arts Paris & La Biennale.


Jean-Honoré FRAGONARD (1732-1806)  Un sacrifice antique, dit Le sacrifice au Minotaure  Huile sur toile  72 × 91 cm  Estimation : 4 000 000 - 6 000 000 €
Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)
The sacrifice to the Minotaur
Oil on canvas
72 × 91 cm
Estimate: €4,000,000 – 6,000,000

The sale will feature The Sacrifice to the Minotaur, a masterpiece by the 18th century painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, carefully preserved in the same family for over a century and estimated €4,000,000 - 6,000,000: a spirited, swirling composition that is both dramatic and sensual.


In 1761, Fragonard returned from a five-year stay in Rome. Mastering his art, he wanted to conquer Paris, and this inevitably meant painting ambitious history scenes. While Coresus and Callirhoe remains a bravura piece of the young artist, our The Sacrifice to the Minotaur, painted circa 1765 is – like the two scenes from Rinaldo in Armida’s gardens and Rinaldo in the enchanted forest – considered by art historians as the apogee of Fragonard’s historical painting.


Our painting has been part of the prestigious Walferdin collection and then Jacques Doucet collection. It was at the latter’s sale in 1912 that the grandfather of the current owners acquired this major 18th-century French painting, which will be auctioned by Artcurial on 22nd November.


Louyse MOILLON (1610-1696) Pêches, abricots et prunes sur un entablement Huile sur panneau 25,50 x 34 cm  Estimation : 500 000 - 800 000 €
Louyse Moillon (1610-1696)
Peaches, apricots and plums on an entablature
Oil on panel
25,50 x 34 cm
Estimate: €500,000 – 800,000

The sale will also feature an exceptional still life by Louyse Moillon, which has never been published before, and a Saint John the Evangelist by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.






Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st November 2023


Old Master & XIXth Century Art
Wednesday 22nd November 2023 - 6pm


Matthieu Fournier
Tel. +33 1 42 99 20 26