A few months ago a beautiful painting appeared for sale in Paris – the work was sold in a 17th century frame and was thus consigned to the later stages of an old master paintings sale. There were a few clues to its potential – the distinct letters “IN” popping out from the edge of the frame and a date of 1887. The work was clearly of great quality and it was acquired by us with a view to further research – in the conviction that this was an unrecorded painting by Henri Fantin Latour.
Having consulted with Brame & Lorenceau in Paris we submitted the work to the Fantin Committee for assessment. Three weeks later a letter arrived confirming what we had initially believed – that the work was by the hand of the master himself. Brame & Lorenceau subsequently issued a certificate for the painting and their confirmation of its inclusion in the Fantin archive and the Catalogue Raisonne which is currently in preparation.
The painting has lost some of its signature on the left side and we have concluded this was likely trimmed during the Second World War to deter the Nazis from confiscating the painting during their occupation and looting of Paris. A number of Fantin paintings were taken by the Nazis from France in WWII as the artist was on the list of painters that were sought out by them for the planned Fuhrermuseum which never materialised.
It is with great pleasure that we can now offer this work for sale having managed to save it from obscurity.