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French art highlights Heritage's European Art Auction December 8
Guillaume Seignac (French, 1870-1924), Disarming Cupid. Oil on canvas, 25-1/2 x 21-1/4 inches. Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000.

DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions' Dec. 8 European Art Auction features a choice array of 19th- and early 20th-century French paintings and works on paper by top academic, Fauve, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters, including Raoul Dufy, Jean Béraud, Guillaume Seignac, and Paul Signac. In addition, the auction includes a fine group of works by British animaliers, a notable landscape by Neapolitan Baroque painter Antonio de Bellis, and select genre, landscape and portrait subjects by a host of Continental painters.

One of the stars of the sale is Raoul Dufy's Régates à Deauville, 1936 (est: $150,000-250,000), a delightful panorama of sailboats along the Normandy coast. The painting comes to auction from the Spiegel family of mail-order fame, who owned it since 1960, and prior to that figured in the collection of French art historian and essayist Elie Fauré. The work is in original condition, completely devoid of any restoration. Painted during Dufy's feverish period of activity painting colorful regattas in his native part of France, Régates à Deauville adopts a frieze-like approach to capturing the endless variety of pattern and rhythm created by the vessels.

An additional highlight is Jean Béraud's stunning portrait of Paris' iconic monument, the L'Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, circa 1882-85 (est. $200,000-300,000). With his inimitable talent for highly naturalistic detail and atmosphere, Béraud transports the viewer back to fin-de-siecle Paris and the fashionable Champs-Elysées. Also working in Paris at the turn of the century was Guillaume Seignac who forged a successful career as a painter of Classical antiquity. His Disarming Cupid (est. $30,000-50,000) is a charming example of his mature style honed under the tutelage of master academician, Adolphe Bouguereau.

A major figure in Neapolitan painting of the seventeenth century, Antonio de Bellis is known for his intense, emotional depictions of the human spirit. In his St. John the Baptist in the wilderness (est: $20,000-30,000), however, he demonstrates not only his skill as a figure draftsman but his gifts as a landscapist of quiet, poetic sensibility.

Sporting art in the sale is led by Thomas Blinks' English setters on point (est: $30,000-50,000), an acutely observed depiction of setters bathed in the golden light of a sunlit field. Also in this group is George Horlor's Ready for sport (est: $6,000 - $8,000) and John Emms' Hounds and a Jack Russell in a stable (est: $12,000-18,000).

A diverse group of exquisite watercolors and drawings by distinguished draftsmen Théophile Steinlen, Hendrik Mesdag, Alfred Sisley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha and Paul Signac command special attention in this sale.

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