Published: May 2, 2016
MILFORD, CONN. — A tropical scene by Louis Remy Mignot (American, 1831-1870) enticed bidders at Shannon’s April 28 auction of American and European paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The 24-by-39-inch oil on canvas brought $120,000, including buyer’s premium.. Its subject, a tropical landscape with camels and Bedouins, transports the viewer to a realm of imagination and reverie. The painting came out of a private Swiss collection.
Mignot is today remembered as one of America’s leading Luminist painters. He started his career in New York City where he became associated with the artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Edwin Church. His images, like Church’s, derive from direct confrontation with the landscape; but through selection of place, moment of day and painterly stroke, he imparts the quality of dreamlike romance to places perceived in reality.
In the canvas offered, “Tropical Landscape with Camels and Bedouins,” Mignot imaginatively inserted camels and Bedouins into a distinctively Ecuadorian landscape view along the Guayaquil river. Art historian and Mignot expert John Coffey reviewed the present landscape noting, “Perhaps the painting is Mignot’s attempt to broaden his repertoire of subjects to appeal to a British public more engaged with the Middle East than South America. He simply substitutes camels and Bedouins for llamas and Ecuadorian Indians.”
The 1860s saw an increase in Orientalist subjects from British and Continental artists. Mignot explored Orientalist themes in at least one other canvas, “Mosque and Minaret,” exhibited first in New York in 1868 and again in London in an 1876 posthumous exhibition.
Watch for a complete review of this sale in a future issue.
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