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19th Century Art


Théodore Gudin

Paris 1802 – 1880 Boulogne-sur-Seine

Sunset over the Seine.
Oil on canvas. 39,5 × 47,5 cm. (15 ½ × 18 ¾ in.) Inscribed on the reverse with stencil in black : Etude RIVES DE LA SEINE près l'ile St. Denis par Gudin. There as well a stamp of art supply store Michel Belot, Paris.  [3064] Framed 

ProvenancePrivate Collection, Paris

EUR 6.000 – 8.000
USD 6,980 – 9,300

Sold for:
30,000 EUR (incl. premium)

Sonnenuntergang über der Seine

Auction 334Wednesday, 1 December 2021
03:00 PM

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The changing world

At the latest with the invention of the World's Fairs in London (1851) and Paris (1855), it was hard to miss: the world was changing. The future was merging with the present. The first major event in Paxton's modular Crystal Palace, made of iron and glass and occupying London's Hyde Park seemingly overnight, was an impressive demonstration to the astonished visitors of the possibilities of today and the visions for a world of tomorrow. Under the light castle-like glass cloak, around 17,000 exhibitors from 28 countries presented the latest industrial and commercial products and showed technological developments.
Only four years later, Paris offered not only industry and trades but also contemporary art a grand stage - in a Palais des Beaux-Arts that had now been created especially for this purpose, for around 5,000 works by around 2,200 artists from exactly 28 countries. The story is as well-known as it is significant. While inside everything was grouped around the opulent shows of works by the French grand masters Jean-Dominique-Auguste Ingres and Eugène Delacroix, and an almost incalculable number of salon painters were officially honoured alongside artists such as the quiet Camille Corot as well as other important painters of the romantic-realist landscape school of Barbizon, outside Gustave Courbet was opposed in his own, shed-like pavilion under the inscription: "Le Réalisme. G. Courbet".
More than ever, artists saw themselves challenged to fight for their own gospels. In order to be able to show their works to a larger audience and thus sell them, not least in view of the increasing international competition, they entered old as well as completely new paths - within and outside the official exhibition system. In their search for a way of seeing that was free and independent of restrictions and academic value judgements, they formed groups of artists, organised their own exhibitions and used the now increasingly established, often internationally networked galleries and art shops to present and communicate their art.
The international forum, with which Paris had already presented itself self-confidently as the world capital of art in 1855, continued to set the tone for the various artistic movements, expressions and currents as well as institutional achievements on the path to modernism until well after the turn of the century, their influences reverberating throughout Europe. The presence of the present, which can only be faced or evaded, now found its way into art everywhere - and became its central theme. This affected both the different perceptions of the increasingly rapid political, social, scientific and technological developments and the artists' very personal confrontations with their individual situation and position, their role, their being. Émile Zola, a friend of Courbet ́s and the early Impressionists around Manet, found a famous formula for the definition of art: "Une oeuvre d ́art est un coin de la création vue à travers un tempérament".

Anna Ahrens

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