NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams
May 2nd sale of 19th Century European Paintings will bring to the market for the first time Emile Munier's Her Best Friend, from 1885 (estimate: $80,000-120,000). The painting is one of his most popular compositions, which he repeated in several variations. This work, which will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist, has been in a private collection since the 1930s and thence by descent to the present owners.
Born into a modest working-class family from Paris in 1840, Emile Munier and his two brothers followed into their father's footsteps as upholsterers at the Manufacture Nationale des Gobelins, where they started their artistic training under the tutelage of Abel Lucas. Emile distinguished himself as a particularly gifted artist, exhibiting at the Salon from 1869 onwards. Munier's two children, Henri and Marie-Louise, were the artist's primary source of inspiration beginning in the early 1880s and were featured frequently in his work. Munier established himself as the most popular painter of children and their pets among French and American collectors.
Another highlight in the sale is When the West with evening glows by renowned Scottish artist Joseph Farquharson RA (British, 1846-1935) (illustrated bottom left, estimate: $100,000-150,000). Prints of winter scenes by Farquharson were highly popular and were sold by the thousands by Frost & Reed, who printed over thirty different engravings after his paintings. The present work is another, slightly smaller version of a painting exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1910 and presently in the collection of the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.
Also featured is Richmond Hill by George Vicat Cole, RA (British, 1833-1893), considered one of the most popular landscape painter of the time (illustrated above right, estimate: $80,000-120,000). The eldest son of the artist George Cole, R.B.A., Vicat Cole received his training from his father and by studying the works of Turner and Constable. Richmond Hill bridges the two worlds that Cole inhabited - the cosmopolitan society of London and the magnificent rolling hills along the Thames that he so often depicted. The view of the Thames from Richmond Hill outside of London remains one of the most beloved and popular areas for artists, poets and sightseers alike.