Suzanne Lovell Inc

Fine Art

A fabulous commission by Bernard Boutet de Monvel c. 1929 that never came to be

January 14, 2017

Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Autoportrait, place Vendôme, 1932.

Image courtesy of Sotheby’s 

Last year we were thrilled to make several acquisitions of note, and especially from the Collection Boutet de Monvel at Sotheby’s in Paris.

Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881-1949) was said to have lived a life worthy of a Fitzgerald novel. Bernard Boutet de Monvel’s style and personality, along with his French elegance and charm, won over the Americans who would eventually crown him “the handsomest man in Europe”. His notoriety in the United States was widespread from the 1920s onwards, with exhibitions and retrospectives all bearing witness to his tremendous talent. The collection was preserved by the artist’s descendants in his home and studio in Paris’ chic 7th arrondissement. Testament to the importance of Bernard Boutet de Monvel’s oeuvre in the history of art, four works by the artist offered at auction were bought by French museums: the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée de Poitiers and the Musée franco-américain du Château Blérancourt.

Installation view of Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Diane Et Acteon, 1935 (at left)

Image courtesy of Sotheby’s 

This wonderful painting was actually inspired by a commission that never came to be. Mona Williams (1897-1983) hired the famous architect William A. Delano to build their villa, Oak Point, in Bayville, Long Island in 1926. (Mona, at this time, was married to Harrison Williams (1873-1953), said to be the most wealthy man in America; she later marries Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen for a total of 5 husbands, and becomes known as Mona von Bismarck, the best dressed woman in the world according to Chanel, Molyneux, Vionnet, Lelong and Lanvin. (Wikipedia)

Sketches courtesy of Stéphane-Jacques Addade, Bernard Boutet de Monvel at The Origins of Art Deco, 2001.

Images courtesy of Suzanne Lovell Inc.

Enjoy the flawless attention to detail, a very modern presentation of an ancient story.