Henri Fantin-Latour | A la Mémoire de Schumann

HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR
French, 1836–1904

A la Mémoire de Schumann

Oil on canvas
12¾ x 8 inches (32 x 20 cm)
Framed: 19 x 14 inches (48.2 x 35.5 cm)
 
Painted in 1873, this is one of two paintings of this subject executed in conjunction with Fantin-Latour’s lithograph of the same year titled A la Mémoire de Robert Schumann (Hédiard, no. 5). A young girl brings a bouquet of flowers to the tomb of the composer that is partially hidden by a cypress tree. The composition of the other painting (no. 668 in Mme. Fantin-Latour’s catalogue raisonné) is inversed from the present work, which matches the direction of the lithograph. The three works have very similar dimensions. In an article on Fantin-Latour’s lithographs from 1920, Frank Gibson writes, “In August 1873, when the great Bonn music festival was celebrated in honour of Schumann, Fantin, though not present at the ceremony, thought he, too, would like to pay homage to the great genius. This he did by producing the great lithograph, A la Mémoire de Robert Schumann. It is a great advance in his essays in lithography, and the artist represents the Muse as a fair-haired young girl about to place a bouquet of flowers on Schumann’s tomb. It is a simple but dignified conception, and rich if somber in tone” (Frank Gibson, “The Lithographs of Henri Fantin-Latour,” International Studio, London, vol. LXXVIII, no. 322, January, 1920, p. 136). 

Provenance
F. & J. Tempelaere, Paris
Sale, Christie's, London, May 30, 1924, lot 101
Kunsthandel C.M. Van Gogh, Amsterdam
Sale, Christie’s, London December 7, 1973, lot 295
Ansbach (acquired at the above sale) 
Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, October 30, 1980, lot 220, illustrated
Private Collection, Connecticut (acquired at the above sale) 

Literature
cf. Germain Hédiard, Fantin-Latour: Catalogue de l’Oeuvre Lithographique du Maître, Paris, 1906, no. 5, for illustration of the lithograph
Madame Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l’Oeuvre Complet de Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1911, p. 75, no. 669

$22,000

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