Last gasp of Romantic style before Realist

Far Away Thoughts by Francois Joseph Navez – £4800 at Hansons.

Drawing keen interest at Hansons (20% buyer’s premium) in Derbyshire last month was a work by Belgian painter Francois Joseph Navez (1787-1869), an artist who rarely appears in the UK salerooms.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Alex Capon

Far Away Thoughts by Francois Joseph Navez – £4800 at Hansons.

The 2ft 9in x 2ft 2in (85 x 65cm) oil on canvas, Far Away Thoughts, was signed and dated 1851 and was sourced from a Sheffield collection.

It was painted at around the time that the artist stopped exhibiting his works at the Brussels Salon, of which he was director. The salon had begun to turn away from the Romantic style adopted by Navez and more towards Belgian realism. He eventually resigned from the directorship in 1859.

A pupil of Jacques-Louis David, his works still have a following and have sold for strong five-figure and even six-figure sums on occasion at auction.

Estimated at £1500-2500 at the Derbyshire sale on July 8, it drew interest from UK bidders but was sold for £4800 to a Belgian buyer.

Seago scene

Making a higher sum but bringing less competition, a view of a cottage in a Norfolk landscape by Edward Seago (1910-74) made £7200 (estimate £8000- 12,000).

The 10¼ x 13½in (26 x 34cm) signed oil on board, Cottages near Martham, had provenance to London dealers Colnaghi and Richard Green, and came to auction from a private client in the Cotswolds. It sold to a UK private buyer.