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Privately owned for 140 years, Bouguereau portrait sells at Bonhams New York
William Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905), "A portrait of Eva and Frances Johnston". Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32in (100.3 x 81.3cm). Sold for $485,000 including premium. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.


NEW YORK, NY.- After more than 140 years in the collection of a prominent American family, a commissioned work by William Adolphe Bouguereau with strong familial subject matter finds a new home, selling for $485,000. The work entitled "A Portrait of Eva and Frances Johnston" descended through the family of railroad tycoon John Taylor Johnston, until offered at Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house. The skillfully rendered work was included in the auction of 19th Century European Art held on May 7 at Bonhams New York, and after feverish bidding, sold to an American bidding by telephone.

Although the majority of bidders were American or English, Bonhams global reach was evident as additional bidders from 25 countries competed for the 108 works. Other highlights from the sale include Tito Conti's oil on canvas work "Reverie," which reached a final price of $209,000. "A Harvest Festival" by Emile Eisman-Semenowsky achieved $106,250. Bidders were attracted to Eisman-Semenowsky's large format and multi-figure composition, recognizing it as his most ambitious work known to date. Vittorio Reggianini's "The Recital" sold for $75,000, and Charles-François Daubigny's "Le Bord De La Rivière" also sold for $40,000. Nearly 200 registered bidders participated in the auction that took place at Bonhams Madison Avenue salesroom on May 7.

Bonhams is currently accepting consignments for its next European Paintings auction which takes place in New York on November 5.






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