Commercial galleries Market United Kingdom

Rarely seen Gérôme painting goes on sale in London

Portrait of artist’s younger brother had not been seen for 165 years

A portrait by Jean-Léon Gérôme, which has not been seen since it was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1848, is now on the London market. The work, a depiction of Gérôme’s younger brother Armand, remained in the artist’s possession until his death in 1904. Then it disappeared from view until it was offered for sale at Christophe Joron-Derem auctioneers in Paris in June 2013 with an estimate of €30,000 to €40,000. It was bought by the London dealer Daniel Katz for €350,236.

Gérôme is mostly known for his history paintings and Orientalist works. This oil, which he painted when he was just 24, is one of his relatively few portraits of his friends and family. Armand is shown wearing the dark uniform of the École Polytechnique, a prestigious school founded in 1794. He died of meningitis two years after the portrait was painted. The Daniel Katz gallery declined to give a price for the work.

For a profile on Daniel Katz, see The Art Newspaper, July/August 2014, Section 2, p4

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