Past Auction

Old Master Paintings & Drawings

Wed, Feb 05, 2020 at 10am EST |
New York
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Portrait of Pauline Bonaparte by Marie-Victoire Lemoine Achieves a Record $387,000

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  • Old Master Paintings & Drawings Auction on February 5, 2020 Sets World Auction Record for a Work by Marie-Victoire Lemoine
  • Offered together with English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts
  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for the May 2020 Auction of Old Master Paintings & Drawings

NEW YORK, NY -- On February 5, 2020, Doyle held a successful auction of Old Master Paintings & Drawings that showcased a wide range of landscapes, still lifes, portraits and religious subjects by European artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

Highlighting the sale was a portrait of Madame Leclerc, née Pauline Bonaparte, circa 1798-99, by Marie-Victoire Lemoine (1754-1820) that achieved a stunning $387,000 -- A World Auction Record for the Artist. It surpassed the prior record of $262,500 set in 2017. 

The painting was acquired by a private benefactor in Melbourne, Australia, for immediate donation to the National Gallery of Victoria. In recent years, the museum has engaged in a collecting project that prioritizes historical and contemporary works by female artists, including Mary Beale, Elizabeth Vigee LeBrun, Sonia Delaunay and others.

Lemoine, one of a family of artists, lived her professional life at the center of the French art world, specializing in portraits and genre subjects. This lovely portrait by her of Pauline Bonaparte, younger sister of Napoleon I, was submitted anonymously to the Paris Salon of 1799 (Revolutionary year VII), where it was described as "Une jeune femme appuyee sur le bord d 'une croisee." (A Young Woman Leaning on the Edge of a Window).

Pauline Bonaparte (1780-1825) was married at 17 to the French general Charles Leclerc in 1797. This likeness of her was probably painted the following year, not long after the birth of her son. In 1801 Pauline accompanied her husband on a military expedition to Haiti, where he died of yellow fever a year later. In 1803 Pauline married the Roman Prince Camillo Borghese, and thereafter lived as an Italian noblewoman. Notorious for her dissolute life, in later years she lived apart from Prince Borghese in the Villa Paolina in Rome.

The impressive, large-scale portrait was formerly in the collection of Pauline's older brother, Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844), the one-time King of Spain, who died in exile in New Jersey.


Specialist Elaine Stainton profiles Marie-Victoire Lemoine's portrait of Pauline Bonaparte.  View the Video

English Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts

The February 5 auction also featured English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts (More).

We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for the May 2020 auction of Old Master Paintings & Drawings. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact 212-427-4141, ext 249, [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

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A Selection of Auction Highlights

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