William Adolphe Bouguereau’s sublime Fishing For Frogs, 1882, is expected to bring $1,500,000+ as the offering on the European side of Heritage Auctions’ May 15 Signature American & European Art Auction, taking place at Heritage’s Dallas Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street, while Eastman Johnson’s lyrical Child at Prayer, circa 1873, is the top American offering with a $500,000+ pre-auction estimate. These prime examples, along with 33 others, have been consigned to the auction by The Lexington Trust of Los Angeles.
This is one of the deepest art auctions that Heritage has ever presented, said Brian Roughton, Director of American and European Art at Heritage. We’ve put a tremendous effort into gathering this diverse grouping and making it an appealing offering to every level of collector.
Two paintings from French master Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait d’une jeune femme, circa 1868-70 (estimate: $650,000+) and Le Port de Saint-Tropez (estimate: $200,000+), ample demonstrate the great painter’s lifelong artistic prowess, acting as creative bookends on his career with the former coming from his pre-Impressionist period and the latter dating toward the end of his career when he had fully mastered the Impressionist palette.
Collectors of Fine American will also thrill to the offering of Francis Augustus Silva’s The Old House by the River, 1881, estimated at $400,000+.
This is a remarkable and exceedingly beautiful painting by Silva that showcases his full genius with the brush, said Roughton. He was a preeminent member of the Luminist Movement, but he didn’t begin his professional art career until he was 35, after serving as a captain in the Civil War. Fame found him rather quickly, however, and by 1870 his reputation as a painter was fully solidified.
As part of this auction Heritage will also be presenting a special selection of 188 19th and early-20th century American – and occasional European – paintings from the extensive holdings of The Jean and Graham Devoe Williford Charitable Trust. Highlights include William Stanley Haseltine’s masterly Saint-Malo, Brittany, c. 1868 (estimate: $30,000+) and William Bradford’s bold Iceberg, 1869.
Graham Williford, a native of Fairfield, Texas, is the quietly discerning sensibility behind this superb collection. He began to acquire American paintings voraciously as early as the 1950s, long before they became a hotly contested collecting area, and assembled an astounding array of great works, Roughton said.