Attributed to Pieter I Claeissens (c. 1500-1576), Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angel Musicians, oak panel, uncradled board, 53 x 34 cm/20.9 x 13.4 in.
The auction brought in a total of €1,119,705, with the highest bid going to a painting on oak panel attributed to Pieter I Claeissins, aka Claeissins the Elder. His Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angel Musicians fetched €187,800, shattering its high estimate of €20,000. The Flemish artist, who in 1530 was admitted as Master in Bruges, painted many religious scenes (including a famous Resurrection for his hometown’s Saint-Sauveur Cathedral) as well as portraits.
The next lot quickly shifted to Asia with a folding screen featuring a Vietnamese Landscape with a View of Chua Thay Pagoda painted by Hoang Tich Chu in 1941—the same year that the artist, freshly out of Hanoi’s Indochina School of Fine Arts, opened his studio. With its high-angle view of an impressive panoramic scene, the screen fetched €176,532.
The last six-figure bid went to a characteristic work by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon: a Study of Marguerite, one of his favorite models. Here he drew the delicate female nude in black chalk with white highlights on blue paper (24.5 x 17.5 cm/9.7 x 6.9 in). The work, which has had several prestigious owners, including Charles Boulanger de Boisfremont and Pierre Jourdan, sold for €114,280.
For Charles-François Lacroix of Marseille, a pair of signed canvases (49 x 63.5 cm/19.2 x 25 in, each), located in Rome and dated, depicting respectively Fishermen Near a Port in the Early Morning and Sunset. The first is dated 1750 (or 1754?) and the other 1759: they sold together for €73 660. In the decorative arts department, a Transition period chest of drawers by Jean-François Leleu, in mahogany and Cuban blond mahogany veneer (88 x 126 x 54 cm/ 2.88 x 4.13 x 1.7 ft), was also noteworthy. The Parisian cabinetmaker, who was made master in 1764, fetched €21,252.