Paintings by Émile Bernard, Maurice Denis and Richard Edward Miller set this Brittany sale on fire with some glowing results.
A Southern Frenchman won the palm at this sale: Henri Martin, with a vibrant Port de Collioure (The Port of Collioure) that garnered €131,760, no less. The Toulouse-born artist stayed regularly in the Roussillon port from 1923 to 1939, and finally bought a house there. This painting with its impeccable provenance was bought in the 1930s by the family of its latest owners. With €126,880, an American lover of France took second place: Richard Edward Miller. After moving to Paris in 1898, he developed a style inspired by Impressionism, and mixed regularly with the circle of Giverny artists. He then returned to the US, where he became an intimist chronicler of women's lives, as with this Young woman with a necklace. Another exalter of women, Henri Le Sidaner painted many scenes with female protagonists depicted in a Symbolist ambiance, like Marguerite Bouchet en barque, crépuscule, Montreuil-Bellay 1896 (Marguerite Bouchet in a boat at sunset, Montreuil-Bellay 1896), which fetched €76,860. This work is listed in several publications, including a book by Yann Farinaux, Le Sidaner (published by Sauret, 1989). But this sale in Brest would not have been complete without an ascetic Nature morte aux tomates et oignons (Still life with tomatoes and onions) by Émile Bernard, dated 1895. It took €54,900 to land this composition painted by the artist in his palace in Darb-el-Guenena, Cairo.