25 February 2018

A 'High Degree of Finish'

In this ongoing series about Top eBay Chess Items by Price, the ultimate place to go for high-end artwork featuring chess is Sotheby's. A few months ago we had A Chess Painting and a Namesake (December 2017), where the links lead back to previous posts featuring Sotheby's auctions.

The item pictured below was titled 'Jean Carolus - The Chess Players'. It sold for US $9,500 after four bids at 'live auction bidding'. The auctioneer's page, carolus, jean the chess players (sothebys.com), informs 'Estimate 12,000 - 18,000 USD; LOT SOLD. 11,875 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)'.

The eBay description repeated the name of the artist, the title of the painting, and the estimate; then added '30 1/2 by 38 in.; Oil on canvas' followed by a long condition report and a provenance. I was curious to see if the work had been noticed in any of the usual online collections, so I followed the Google image search steps detailed in 'Mystery Painting' Still a Mystery (January 2017). It appears that useful functions like 'Find other sizes of this image' and 'Visually similar images' have disappeared recently. The page Getty load of this: Google to kill off 'View image' button in search (theregister.co.uk; 12 February 2018) blames Getty Images for the change.

As for the artist, Wikipedia's entry Jean Carolus starts,

Jean Carolus (Brussels, 1814–1897, Paris), a Belgian painter of genre scenes and interiors, spent much of his life living and working in France. Noted for his depictions of figures set within interior scenes, he is esteemed for the high degree of finish and jewel-like quality attained in these works.

That last sentence certainly applies to the this post's featured work.

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