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Severin Roesen Still Life Expected to Bring Over $600K at Heritage Auction

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape by Severin Roesen, 1850

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape by Severin Roesen, 1850

May 17 American & European Art auction in Dallas includes work by John Koch, John Constable, American landscape paintings from The Flanner & Buchanan Corporate Collection and British Portraits by Reynolds and Hamilton from The Estate of Kenneth Kendall

A magnificent 1850 still life by German-born American painter Severin Roesen, Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape, is expected bring more than $600,000 as the central highlight in Heritage Auctions’ Signature® Fine American, European Art & Western Art Auction on Tuesday, May 17 at the company’s Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street.

“This rare example of Roesen’s early work was produced only two years after the artist’s arrival in the United States from his native Germany where he had trained as a porcelain painter,” said Dr. Marianne Berardi, Senior Fine Arts Expert at Heritage. “The sophisticated composition has its roots in the lavish still lifes of the eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish masters of the genre, such as Jan van Huysum, Jan Frans van Dael and the Spaendoncks. The beautiful design, combined with Roesen’s dazzling technical skills and attention to naturalistic detail, makes this work an exceptional example of the opulence characterizing mid-nineteenth-century still-life painting, and is widely considered one of Roesen’s finest known works.”

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape has descended in a single family since its original purchase directly from the artist. It has been displayed, without interruption, in the family’s 1880 New Jersey estate along the Neversink River.

A pair of late eighteenth-century flower paintings in a similar vein on mahogany panels by Flemish artist Peter Faes is another highlight in the still-life category, and are expected to bring  $50,000+. Faes enjoyed the patronage of Hapsburg Archduchess Maria Christina – the favorite daughter of Empress Maria Theresa.

British painter John Wainwright’s Floral Still Life, 1865, estimated at $8,000+, continues the tradition of fine European still life painting into the 19th century, along with George Clair ‘s Still Life with Apple Blossom, Primroses, and Bird’s Nest, estimated at $3,000+.

The auction is notably rich in portraiture and landscape painting by both American and European artists. An outstanding American offering is the charming large- scale Portrait of Eleanor Anne Schrafft by preeminent Boston School painter William McGregor Paxton, estimated at $80,000+. A delightful example of the artist’s ability to capture the elegance of America’s Edwardian-period upper crust, the painting depicts a young girl in a crisp white frock with blue satin bows, posed in a stately interior alongside her rosy-cheeked doll.

“Paxton’s decorative style of portraiture became fashionable beyond the Boston Brahmin set, extending into Pennsylvania, where he became known as ‘the court painter of Philadelphia,” said Mary Adair Dockery, Consignment Director at Heritage. “Among his many notable sitters were Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Grover Cleveland.”

Another American portrait highlight of the auction already proving popular with collectors is realist painter John Koch’s evocative and moody 1955 composition Father and Son, estimated at $80,000+. Koch created a special artistic niche for himself as a figure and portrait painter who staged his compositions in his own Manhattan apartment, amidst domestic furnishings and materials associated with art-making. He is best known for his paintings of social scenes such as cocktail parties and an artist at work with his models. The present work is a self-portrait of himself with his young son, and captures a tender and intimate moment in his personal world.

“The symbolic and compositional relationship between objects and figures in this painting is characteristic of Koch’s work,” said Consignment Director Ariana Hartsock, “and beautifully exemplifies his masterful sense of light and composition.”

Fine European portraiture is plentiful in the May 17 Heritage auction, led by Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Half-Length Portrait of Lady Fortescue, Anne Campbell, circa 1759-60, estimated at $18,000+, the top highlight from The Estate of Kenneth Kendall.

“We’re honored to present a selection of nine paintings from the Estate of Kenneth Kendall,” said Ed Beardsley, Managing Director of Heritage’s Fine Arts Department, “a man of discerning taste whose interest in art and culture led him to assemble a unique collection in his Hollywood home.”

Further highlights from The Kendall Collection include Portrait of Francisco de Paula Navia y Velasquez as a Child Holding a Pet Bird, 1789, from the Spanish/Cuban School (18th Century), circle of Vicente Escobar (1757-1834), expected to bring $7,000+, and William Hamilton’s Portrait of Sarah Siddons as Zara, circa 1784, expected to bring $9,000+.

The May 17 auction is particularly strong in 19th and early 20th Century landscapes, including John Constable’s oil sketch, Suffolk Landscape with Cattle, Trees and a Windswept Sky, circa 1811-1812, estimated at $50,000+, a prime example of the level of work that has made Constable so highly sought-after in today’s market.

Suffolk Landscape was acquired by a Canadian attorney on a trip to England early in the 20th century, and has descended in his family. Constable’s agility in capturing light, color and movement in Nature, on the spot outside, are apparent in the wonderful shifting clouds and wind-tousled trees. In sketches such as this one, produced long before the Impressionists, Constable sought to capture the fleeting moods of Nature as rapidly as possible before the moment had passed.

Further Landscape highlights include Rafael Senet Y Perez’s Along the Grand Canal (estimated at $15,000+) and Johan Frederik Eckersberg’s majestic Valley of Romsdalen, 1857 (estimated at $15,000+).

Heritage will be offering 24 paintings from the Flanner & Buchanan Corporate Collection, the majority of them landscapes originally purchased by the late Judge John Buchanan, whose collection was featured by Heritage in June of 2009, led by Victor De Grailly’s Niagara Falls, circa 1850, estimated at $6,000+, and William Trost Richards’ Rocky Cliff with Stormy Sea, 1902 (estimated: $15,000+). Marine subjects are particularly well represented in this group of works from the Flanner & Buchanan collection. Works by American and European sea and riverscape painters, whom Judge Buchanan favored during his early years as a collector, include Warren Shepherd, Mauritz de Haas, Albertus van Beest, Elbridge Webber, Harry Chase, James Pattison, Charles P. Gruppe, William Henry Hilliard, and D. Jerome Elwell, represented by a rare view of the Charles River.

Modernism is always a popular draw at Heritage art auctions, and the May 17 Dallas auction includes several prime examples, led by Suzanne Valadon’s Still Life with Fruit and Glass, 1910.

“Valadon was famously a model of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the mistress of Auguste Renoir and mother of painter Maurice Utrillo,” said Hartsock. “Here, however, with a bold, Fauvist palette and Cézanne-like emphasis on geometric forms, Valadon proves herself a talented painter, infusing the still life with distinctive femininity, notably in the eye-catching decorative dish and in the artfully-placed leafy branch with succulent pear.”

The painting is estimated at $20,000+.

Further Modern highlights include Adriaan Hermann Gouwe’s Bouquet of Calla Lillies, 1919, estimated at $6,000+, along with a significant selection of School of Paris street scenes, including Edouard-Léon Cortès’ Place de l’Opera, estimated at $25,000+, and Antoine Blanchard’s Théâtre de Vaudeville, circa 1970s, estimated at $4,000+.

Heritage Auctions

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape by Severin Roesen, 1850

Still Life with Fruit and Flowers in a Landscape by Severin Roesen, 1850

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