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Major Symbolist work by Franz von Stuck to lead Sotheby's 19th Century European Art Sale
Mannequin Articulé, wood, probably walnut, metal hardware, fully articulating with peg and ball joints and moveable fingers, removable breasts and painted head and face, together with a beechwood chair, circa 1800 (est. $30/40,000). Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s sale of 19th Century European Art on 6 November 2014 will feature a significant selection of works by leading masters of the 19th century. The cover lot is Franz von Stuck’s famed depiction of the temptation of Eve, Die Sünde (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Additional highlights include Orientalist subjects by Ludwig Deutsch and Frederick Arthur Bridgman, an extraordinary work by Ludovic Alleaume and major paintings by Jean- Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, William Bouguereau and Sir Alfred Munnings. The exhibition is open to the public as of 31 October 2014 at Sotheby’s New York headquarters.

Franz von Stuck's Die Sünde promptly drew large crowds when first exhibited at the premiere exhibition of the Munich Secession in 1893 and maintains its popularity today as an icon of the Symbolist art movement. First conceived in 1889, Stuck’s striking interpretation presents Eve emerging naked out of a darkness, the body of the massive snake coiled around her, and a light or flame in the upper right. One of twelve known versions, each work slightly differs in its composition, many of which are in public collections such as the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Galleria di arte Moderna in Palermo, the Frye Museum in Seattle, and the artist’s studio at the Villa Stuck in Munich.

Offering a comprehensive view of the 19th century, the sale includes a range of works showcasing common thematic narratives of the time. The French artist William Bouguereau was renowned for his painting of nudes and took much of his inspiration from Classical and mythological subjects such as in Biblis (est. $400/600,000). Ludovic Alleaume’s monumental and impressive 1896 Salon entry À la campagne (est. $300/ 500,000) colorfully depicts two ladies lounging in a field of flowers. Relatively overlooked in the lexicon of 19th century French painters, Alleaume is currently the subject of a monographic exhibition at the Musée du Vieux-Château in Laval, France.

From the Orientalist oeuvre are Frederick Arthur Bridgman's Dans une ville de campagne Alger (est. $500/ 700,000), marking the first time this painting has been exhibited publically in over a century, and Ludwig Deutsch’s The Treasure Chest (est. $300/ 500,000).

A group of sporting pictures by Sir Alfred Munnings is led by Marjory (est. $1/1.5 million) and The Huntsman and His Hounds (est. $300/ 500,000).

Three significant paintings from Jean-Baptiste- Camille Corot include an 1834 view of Santa Maria della Salute from the Campo della Carita entitled Venise - Vue du Campo della Carita en regardant le Dome de la Salute (est. $1/1.5 million); Portrait de Louise-Laure Baudot (est. $250/-350,000), which is a charming work featuring his grand-niece; and Saintry près du Corbeil, La route blanche (est. $600/800,000), painted in 1873, which further illustrates his talent for landscape painting.

An additional higlight in the sale is Lot 1, Mannequin Articulé (est. $30/40,000). The use of wooden models dates back to the Renaissance. Such forms were found in the studios of Michelangelo, Titian, Edgar Degas, and Gustave Courbet among countless others. Produced in Paris, the model’s musculature of the body is made from hardwood, most likely walnut. Moveable joints, created with pegs and balls, give motion to the head, arms, hands, fingers, torso, legs and feet. Unique to this model is a painted face with rouging on the cheeks. The sale of this work coincides with the unprecedented exhibition, “Silent Partners Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish” currently on view at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. Mannequin Articulé offers a rare insight into the working nature of the 19th century artist.

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