Lot 53

MME. RITA TELLIER DE CARUFEL, oil on canvas, signed with initials and dated 1891,
20.00" x 17.99"
50.80 x 45.70

Est. $20000/25000
Realised: Please contact us for the value of this item
Auction Date: 05/30/2016

Provenance: Private Collection, Montreal

Literature: Jean-Rene Ostiguy, Ozias Leduc: Symbolist and Religious Painting, (catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1974, pages 96-97.

Note: This portrait from 1891 was commissioned directly from Ozias Leduc by the family of the sitter and has remained in their possession for these many years. Though the relationship between the de Carufel or Tellier families and the artist has been obscured by the passage of many decades, Leduc’s social circle was a small one at this time. Ostiguy notes: ”His first sitters were those nearest him - self-portraits and portraits of more distant friends would have to wait.” It is easy to conclude that the sitter was part of the small social circle that Leduc maintained at this time. The artist renders the sitter with a velvety touch that implies a kind of intimacy despite the formality of her pose and neutral setting. The backdrop and correspondent colour of her dress and coiffure compel the viewer to focus on the subject’s face and her expression. Madame reveals little; she is prettily comported, yet strikingly enigmatic, one eyebrow raised ever so slightly and her mouth held just so. While we know very little about the sitter, Madame de Carufel was the spouse of Louis Edouard de Carufel. De Carufel studied law at Trois-Rivières, then worked as a journalist in both Lowell, Massachusetts and Montreal, where he wrote for La Minerve. Subsequently, he became Secretary of La Société Genérale de Colonisation et de Rapatriement de la Province de Québec, an organization that addressed the crisis of depopulation and transnational mobility faced by certain regions of rural Quebec. Madame Tellier de Carufel was twenty three years old when she sat for this portrait. She and her husband would have eight children together, only five of whom survived to adulthood. She passed away in 1930.

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