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.
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.
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.