Exceptional European & American Fine Art Including Important Russian Works
December 2nd-3rd, 2008
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Lot 3
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Lot: 3
CHARLES AUGUSTE SELLIER (French 1830-1882) The Death of Leander Oil on canvas Inscribed on stretcher 57 inches x 96.5 inches (145 x 245 cm) Estimate $8,000-$12,000
Estimate: $8,000.00 - $12,000.00
Price Realized: $10,620.00




Leander is a character in a Greek myth, relating the story of Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont, and Leander, a young man from Abydos from the other side of the strait. Leander fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way. Succumbing to Leanders soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero eventually allowed Leander to make love to her, a routine which lasted throughout the summer. However, one stormy winter night, the wind blew out Hero’s lamp which had always guided Leander to her bed. The rough seas tossed Leander about; he lost his way and was drowned. In reaction to her loss, Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and, like her lover Leander, drowned.

Charles Auguste Francois Sellier was born on December 23, 1830 in Nancy, France to Christophe Sellier. From 1846-1852 he was enrolled at the School of Art in Nancy under the direction of Louis Lebrone (1796-1865). In 1852 he departed for Paris and became a student of Léon Cogniet (1794-1880). In 1857 Sellier won the Grand Prix de Rome with the painting Resurrection de Lazare and another prize with the painting L'Enfant prodigue. Soon after he went to Italy to paint, however, the paintings that he sent back to France Léandre mort (the offered lot), Madeleine pénitente, and Lévite d'Ephraim were not met with the same positive reception as his previous works had enjoyed. These new paintings exhibited an innovative and interesting luminescent and atmospheric quality which, to a degree, anticipate certain works by Gustave Moreau. Discouraged, Sellier abandoned mystical subjects and instead retreated to painting the always popular portraits and scenes from family life. He eventually became director of the Ecole de Dessin at Nancy, and keeper of the city museum. Sellier's biographer, Charles de Meixmoron de Dombasle thought that he had been born too early: Twenty years later, his private dreams, his original and individual aspirations...would have made him a precursor of art nouveau...The essence of his art is the search for an ideal and while respecting truth it also heightens and transfigures it.

  All items are sold “AS IS” and there will be no returns based on condition. The items sold are often of considerable age and will exhibit wear, usage and damage often not listed in the catalog entry. The absence of condition remarks in the catalog entry DOES NOT mean the item is in perfect condition. Prospective buyers are in ALL CASES responsible for determining the physical condition of lots. No employee or agent of Jackson's International Auctioneers and Appraisers is authorized to make on our behalf or on that of the consignor any representation or warranty, oral or written, with respect to any property. Therefore, if a prospective bidder has not examined the property to their satisfaction before the sale, or his/her agent has not inspected the property, Jackson's recommends that they not bid on the property. All dimensions are approximate. The condition of frames is not guaranteed.