19th Century Joseph Bernard Painting

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

It was given to me by a very prominent doctor and his wife 30 years ago, and I didn't dare ask them who or when or how.

Well, you must have been a very good patient because it's a painting by the 19th-century French artist Joseph Bernard. It's a lovely example of the late-19th century style that was prompted by the discoveries in Pompeii and Herculaneum. One of the things that I find so interesting about this classical revival painting is how much more it really tells us about the 19th-century Victorian mind than it does about the Classical Greeks and Romans they were purportedly reviving. And when the Victorians excavated these areas in Italy, they were completely overwhelmed by the romance of the ancients. And because of that, they translated their own Victorian ways and thoughts and mindsets into the costuming of the ancient period. And with this lovely young woman, we have a figure who is buried in flowers and wearing tremendous antique revival jewelry. The snake, and just the whole attitude.

She's so pretty. Her skin feels like it's warm, almost, to look at it.

It's a tremendous painting, a tremendous gift. In terms of its value, I would be estimating at between $10,000 and $15,000.

It stays on the wall.

Appraisal Details

Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Update (2013)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Appraised value (1999)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Baltimore, MD (June 19, 1999)

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