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Friday, February 17, 2012

Offering of the Day: A Lovely View of Paris Formerly Owned by the Well Known French Dealer Monsieur Francois Fabius

Theodore Jung (1803-1865)
View of Paris: Vue de la pente de la colline Chaillot' [View from the slope of the Chaillot Hill]
23 x 36 inches
Framed: 44 1/2 x 32 inches
Watercolor on paper
Monogrammed on lower left: Th. J

Notable buildings in the background from left to right:
Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur (Monmartre), Pantheon

Reference: Dictionary of painters and engravers, Michael Bryan; Royal Museum catalog

Jung was born in Strassburg where he became the student of Gabriel Guerin and Simeon Fort, and then settled in Paris where he obtained fame as a painter of history and military subjects. His main medium was gouache. A large number of his battle scenes are kept in the Ministry of War (Paris). He has also painted some views of Paris of which a few were exhibited in the Salons. One such view was exhibited at An Explanation of the Paintings, Sculptures, Architecture, Engravings and Lithographs of Living Artists  at the Royal Museum on 1 March 1837. In the paintings section of the catalog, a piece by Jung is listed as work number 1024, a watercolor titled Vue de Paris, Prise du, Mont- Valerien.

Our piece was given the title ‘Paris Vu Des Pentes de la Colline de Chaillot’ by the Musee Carnavalet where it was shown in Paris Romantique, an exhibition held between June - August, 1957 listed as no.225 (exhibition label verso). This watercolour by Jung was displayed then along with over two hundred other pieces by miscellaneous artists. The exhibition lasted for two moths, throughout June and July 1957. 

At the time the Jung watercolour belonged to a very famous art dealer called Monsieur Francois Fabius. The Fabius family is a very big and old Parisian-Jewish family of antiquarians of which the most well-known member was Francois' own brother, Laurent Fabius, who was Prime Minister of France under Mitterant in the late 1980s.

Francois Fabius did not follow his brother's vocation for politics but took up the family's business in art dealing becoming famous for XIX century Parisian art and furniture. His gallery was located on the big Boulevard Haussman, a huge boulevard in the art dealers' quarters.

Francois died recently in 2006, without an heir for his business. Piasa and Sotheby's auction houses were asked to put the entire collection up for auction. This resulted in a 12 million euro sale which the papers hailed the end of a dynasty. This View of Paris is from this significant sale.

The Jung watercolor is currently hanging at the French Embassy in New York City on 5th Avenue at 79th street in the office of Antonin Baudry, the Cultural Counselor and Permanent Representative of the French Universities in the United States. 

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