A pastel of a charming milliner landed a world record for a work on paper by Émile Friant.
Émile Friant (1863-1932), La Modiste (The Milliner), 1890, pastel, 63 x 46.5 cm.
Émile Friant (1863–1932), born in Nancy and a master at the École de Nancy, like his colleague Jules Bastien-Lepage, is one of the leading figures in naturalism, a large artistic movement that spread throughout Europe between 1880 and 1900. The movement sought to describe reality just as it was and not as it ought to be, choosing its subjects in day-to-day life and the working classes. This Modiste (The Milliner), artfully drawn in pastel in 1890, was bid for to the tune of €324,030, an entirely unexpected world record for a work on paper (source: Artnet) far beyond the original estimate. Friant's work wasn't done enticing bidders: his Portrait de Madame Gustave Paul (Portrait of Madame Gustave Paul) an oil on panel from 1888, went for €122,360. These paintings, as well as two others - a watercolour, Élégante au chapeau (Elegant Woman with a Hat) at €7,728, and Homme et son chat auprès du poêle (Man and His Cat by the Stove) came from the same private collection.