Godward classical painting, ‘Waiting for the Procession,’ may top $600K

NEW YORK — Bonhams New York auction of European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture will feature 158 lots comprising a broad range of works by Old Master and 19th century artists from Europe, Eastern Europe and the UK. The offerings combine varied media and styles with many notable works drawn from private collections. The entire sale will be exhibited in San Francisco and New York and sold simultaneously in both cities on October 31.

John William Godward, RBA (British, 1861-1922)
Waiting for the procession
signed and dated ‘J.W. Godward ’90’ (upper left)
oil on canvas, 42 1/4 x 28in (107.3 x 71.1cm)
Estimate $400,000-$600,000
Courtesy of Bonhams

John William Godward’s masterwork “Waiting for the Procession” (estimate $400,000-$600,000) highlights the sale. This early, rare, multi-figured painting from 1890 is a significant example of the artist’s neo-classical renderings, capturing the perfection and beauty of two Roman patrician women.

Considered to be perhaps Godward’s most important early work, it was the largest and most expensive painting sold by the artist at the time of its execution.


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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Antonio Rossetti’s intricately carved, white marble sculpture of Esmeralda and Djali, executed in 1867, is on offer in the sale to benefit the Troy Public Library, Troy, NY ($60,000-$80,000). It is one of five examples of this subject by Rossetti known to exist, including another version in the collection of The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

Rossetti captures Esmeralda, the main character in Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and her faithful goat Djali, happily dancing in the streets of Paris. The sculpture is mounted on its original rotating, pale gray, classically inspired, circular pedestal.

An unusual pair of early 18th century French paintings depicts expansive bird’s-eye views of both the front and rear grounds of a grand estate ($60,000-$80,000). As was the fashion of the period, such compositions were commissioned by landowners to be proudly displayed in their residences.

French School, early 18th Century
A front and a rear view of a French estate (a pair)
oil on canvas, each 51 1/2 x 51 1/4in (131 x 130cm)
Estimate $60,000-$80,000
Courtesy of Bonhams

The most significant drawings being offered are five pencil and watercolor on vellum botanical illustrations by Pierre Joseph Redouté (four carry a presale estimate of $40,000-$60,000 each, while the last is estimated at $30,000-$50,000). Redouté produced these pieces for his eight-volume “Les Liliacées” under the patronage of Empress Josephine from 1802-1816; she purchased the original set that served as the model for engravings by Didot Jeune, Paris.

All 18th century travelers to Venice would have been familiar with the view of the Molo; on offer is a painting of that subject by the artist known as the Master of the Langmatt Foundation Views ($35,000-$55,000). In fascinating detail, the artist depicts daily life of the bustling city under blue skies, resulting in a desirable souvenir of La Serenissima.

Learn more: Bonhams auction of European Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture.

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