1876 Joseph Coomans Oil
I obtained the painting approximately 25 to 30 years ago in a shop here in Tulsa. So I went in, and a young fellow, probably in his early 20s-- his mother had put him up in the antique business, so he had this and a couple more paintings and I told him I was very interested in this one and they said, well, they hadn't determined what they wanted for it yet, so I said, "Well, I'll drop back in" and a week or so later and it's still the same story and so about either the third or fourth trip, they finally decided, well, they would sell it to me but they priced me for $1,000 and I bought it from them then and I've enjoyed it and had it ever since.
Well, what you have is a spectacular example of a work by a Belgian artist named Joseph Coomans. It's signed and dated right here in the lower right-hand corner. He was born in 1816 and he's actually famous for this kind of subject, a kind of Greco-Roman historical scene, and it's really more fictitious than based on fact, but it's kind of a classical genre painting, as we would say, that tells a story. It's oil painted on a wooden panel and it has a very smooth surface. You don't really see any evidence of brushstroke. It's almost kind of a slick finish, it's so finely painted. But you have wonderful detail here. You have this whole still life with the fruit and the wine. You have the children down here on a... some kind of animal-skin rug, and over here are some toys that they've been playing with. And here is this woman seated in this wonderful chair with a sphinx for an arm and she's got on beautiful jewelry and holding a peacock-feather fan. I mean, it's just amazing all the things that are in this picture. I think at auction today, it might be something like $30,000 to $50,000.
30 to 50... Oh, I sure appreciate it. That just really thrills me.
Oh, we're so happy to see it. It is gorgeous.
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