Bernard BOUTET DE MONVEL
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Status, price and estimation of the artist Bernard BOUTET DE MONVEL
Price of a painting by Boutet de Monvel: 400 – 50,000€.
Estimate of a drawing or watercolour by the artist for auction: 200 – 7,000€.
If you would like to have a painting by the artist appraised, our experts are at your disposal for a free appraisal.
Bernard Boutet de Monvel was a French painter, illustrator, sculptor and engraver born in 1881 in Paris and died in 1949 in the accident of the Paris-New York Air France flight to the Azores.
Born into a former bourgeois family, Bernard Boutet was destined to be a painter from the age of sixteen. He first studied under the tutelage of his father, Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel (1850-1913), then a children’s painter and illustrator. He then studied under Luc-Olivier Merson and the sculptor Jean Dampt. In 1889, he was introduced to etching and became a specialist in colour etching.
From 1903 his works were exhibited at the Salon des artistes Français and the Salon d’Automne, two societies of which the artist became a member. On the strength of this success, he took part in the Great Exhibition in Brussels and the Humorists’ Exhibition in Copenhagen in 1910. From 1923 to 1928, he was a member of the committee of the Salon des Tuileries and then became a Knight of the Legion of Honour.
Looking for a style
Bernard Boutet’s etchings are mainly inspired by the bucolic scenes of French life, in the style of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), a Symbolist and Impressionist painter. Thus, the countryside around Nemours is a major source of inspiration for our artist.
Bernard Boutet also excelled in the practice of oil painting. For this last technique, he initially undertakes portraits which allow him to acquire a certain notoriety. Thus, from 1907 onwards, his work and talent were recognised across the Atlantic and the artist regularly sent works to be exhibited in the United States.
At the beginning of his career, the artist concentrated on a raw work of matter, applying thick layers of paint to the canvas. Then, after 1904, on his return from a trip to Italy, the artist’s style evolved abruptly towards pointillist painting.
Painting Parisian chic
In 1909, one of the artist’s most famous paintings, Esquisse pour un portrait, was exhibited at the Devambez Gallery. The whole, which represents one of the favourite themes of the artist, a dandy, is entirely worked with ruler and compass. This rectilinear vision, which heralds the Art Deco movement, is strongly criticized. However, it is indeed this work which announces the continuation of Bernard Boutet’s artistic leanings, who paints from then on in grey tones, with purer strokes and smoother paint.
Bernard Boutet’s works are nowadays very much appreciated by the art market. Thus, on 5 and 6 April 2016, Sotheby’s devotes two full days to the sale of the painter’s collection, setting a world record for the artist. The highest sale is that of the portrait of the Maharajad of Indore, painted in 1934 and sold at 2 499 000 €. The second, his Self-Portrait Place Vendôme, sold for 1,743,000 €.
Bernard Bouvet is known today for his highly eclectic work, in which male chic – particularly through dandies – and the French countryside are the artist’s leitmotifs.
Appraise and sell a painting by Bernard Boutet de Monvel
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