Time for Christmas presents. Gentlemen, open your wallets!
Lot 5. Wladislaw Czachorski 1850-1911. POLISH
A MOMENT OF REPOSE
signed and dated Czachorski 1890 upper right, oil on canvas, 54.5 by 74.5cm, 21½ by 29¼in.
Estimate 100,000-150,000 GBP. Sothebys. 12/16/15
Prinzregent Luitpold Karl Joseph Wilhelm Ludwig von Bayern (according to an old German auction house label on the stretcher; Luitpold Prince Regent of Bavaria (1821-1912) was the de facto ruler of Bavaria from 1886 to 1912, due to the incapacity of his nephews, King Ludwig II and King Otto.)
Purchased in Munich circa 1970 by the family of the present owner; thence by descent
Henryk Piatkowski, Wl. Czachorski, Monografje Artystyczne, vol. XI, Warsaw, 1927, n. p., illustrated (titled Le Repos)
Surrounded by a sumptuous interior, a girl in the prime of youth takes a moment’s rest from her reading. The painting shows Czarchorski at the height of his skills in depicting genre subjects. The rosy flush of her cheeks is played off by the sensuous furnishings, from the silk upholstery of the sofa on which she sits, to the veined marble table top and the gushing blossom, redolent of sophisticated taste and social status. While the girl’s pose and black choker bring to mind Manet’s Olympia, the message could not be more different. While the latter was the ultimate challenge to the conventional depiction of women in art, Czarchorski’s painting plays to refined taste.
Czachorski’s favourite subjects ranged from still lifes to Shakespearian scenes, but he is best known for his detailed illustrations of exquisite aristocratic women in extravagantly appointed interiors. Czachorski began his artistic training at the Warsaw Drawing School at the age of sixteen. After studying for a year at the Dresden Academy and joining the Munich Academy, where he spent five years under the direction of Hermann Anschutz, Alexander Wagner and Karl von Piloty, he won the prestigious Grand Silver Medal upon graduation. Czachorski then travelled throughout Europe, visiting France, Italy and Poland. He settled permanently in Munich in 1879, but continued to exhibit frequently in Poland, in particular Warsaw, Krakow, Lwow and Lodz.