Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté Painting

Value (2007) | $8,000 Auction$12,000 Auction

GUEST:
My wife bought this in a consignment shop in Amarillo, Texas, about 15 or 20 years ago for $15. She brought it home, she really liked it. I didn't care for it too much, but it kind of grows on you. Over the years we've always wondered if it was... what it was. Done some research on the name and took some photos of it and sent it to a museum in Canada-- the artist is Canadian-- and they said, "Well, the signature looks good, "the brushstrokes look good, "the color looks good, and the subject matter looks good, "but we can't really tell you if it's real or not unless we have it here." And we just never did either actually take it or ship it, so we were hoping you could tell us a little bit more about it.

APPRAISER:
And who do you believe the artist is?

GUEST:
Suzor-Coté?

APPRAISER:
Marc-Aurèle Suzor-Coté.

GUEST:
Yes, mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Absolutely. Well, I believe it is by him. It certainly appears to be. As they said, it's his style, it's his subject. The signature appears good. I scrutinized it quite closely. It's a wonderful piece. Do you know much about the painter?

GUEST:
No, not really. I've seen some online with a similar subject matter, but really that's about it.

APPRAISER:
There was a fairly major one- man show of his work in Ottawa at the National Gallery of Canada a few years ago, and he really is one of Canada's most popular artists of the early 20th century. He was born in Canada, in Quebec, but traveled pretty extensively and, like many artists, found his way to Paris and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts as well as other studios there. And probably one of the few artists I can think of who is showing both in the salons of Paris as well as in Canada, at the Canadian Academy. What I find interesting about it is that it's got a very brooding, northern...

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
...feel to it. And it shows that he was aware of the movements within the artistic community of the late 19th century. And this particular painting, to me, shows that he'd been looking at the Symbolist painters, the French Symbolists, so it's a wonderful, evocative, interesting painting with the sunset coming down here. It's an educated guess-- it's probably just before the turn of the century or maybe just tipping over into the other side of it.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
It came out of a consignment shop, did you say?

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
So it's had a few little accidents over the years, let's say.

GUEST:
Yes, mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Nothing too major. We've got the little bit missing here and somebody's done a... I have to say, a rather... it wasn't you, was it?

GUEST:
No, it wasn't me, no.

APPRAISER:
There's a rather botched restoration job over here. Here's a little tip. Watch out for these nails that used to hold it in. You're going to get blood poisoning or something from them. I think at auction, a piece like this, given the demand in Canada for his work...

GUEST:
Mm-hmm. ...

APPRAISER:
and the high regard in which he is currently held, I think a piece like this should make $8,000 to $12,000.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

APPRAISER:
That's better than $15.

GUEST:
Absolutely. I'm going to get a frame for it.

APPRAISER:
Yes, a frame would be a good idea. Then you could not worry about these lethal nails jagging out of it.

GUEST:
Right, yeah, mm-hmm.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2007)
$8,000 Auction$12,000 Auction
Event
San Antonio, TX (July 14, 2007)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting

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