Monsieur and Madame Jean-Marc Forneri Collection
“The love of art has been the glue of our relationship. I am proud today to present to you the collection that we have put together with passion ”. Veronique Forneri
September 28, Christie’s will host the sale of the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Marc Forneri. Comprised of nearly 300 lots, this eclectic collection has been carefully selected by this passionate couple over several decades. It will appeal to a large panel of collectors, thanks to the diversity of eras and the supports offered. Estimates, ranging from 200 to 250,000 euros, will appeal to both young and experienced collectors.
Mrs Forneri comes from a family of Italian antique dealers settled on the Côte d’Azur in the 1910s. Her husband, Jean Marc, is originally from Marseille and attended the prestigious ENA school before becoming a financial inspector. Both share a common passion for art and started their collection in 1980, focusing on 18th century furniture – when baroque and rococo were the dominant trends – to decorate their splendid duplex located in Neuilly. Their tastes evolve and they are interested in modern and contemporary art, but also in the paintings of old masters, collecting the works of artists like Hyacinthe Rigaud, recently exhibited at the Castle of Versailles, as good as Nicolas de Largillierre and Jean-Baptiste Oudry.
Lionel gosset, Director of Collections: “Monsieur and Madame Jean-Marc Forneri have put together a four-handed collection where nothing has escaped their curiosity. From antiquity to contemporary art, they have built a dialogue with the works, and their complementary approaches reflect their personal taste while constituting a perfectly homogeneous whole.
The couple also share a passion for sculpture, from antiques – fabulous marble busts and heads make up the collection – to Oceanic art, with statues of Malangan from New Ireland entering into a harmonious dialogue with contemporary works of art. of Pierre Soulages, Martin Barré or Geer van velde. The latter will be offered in the Post-War and Contemporary Art sale on December 2.
Old masters paintings are also well represented, including a Presumed Portrait of Alexis César Freslon, Marquis d’Acigné by the famous court painter, Hyacinthe Rigaud, estimated between 60,000 and 80,000 €. The most famous portrait painter of the Sun King, Hyacinthe Rigaud, has dominated the portrait genre for nearly a century, giving it new codes. Here we find all the mastery of the painter offering an imposing and noble image of his model where every detail increases the power of the painting.
Another great portrait painter, Nicolas de Largillierre displays his talent in this Bust Portrait of the Countess of Courcelles (estimate: € 80,000-120,000), his technical mastery allowing him to play with materials, colors and light, such as red velvet which contrasts so nicely with silk. The compositions of Jean-Baptiste Oudry, who is a follower of Largillierre, are also among the highlights of the sale, with an emblematic hunting scene by the marvelous animal painter, Dog at a standstill in front of a partridge (1725, estimate: € 150,000-200,000), as well as a sumptuous Portrait of a gentleman en chasseur (1725, estimate: 150,000-200,000 €), which echoes those of his master, displaying the same glow in the fabrics.
A section of the collection is also devoted to the first drawings. A very beautiful portrait of Charles Le Brun in black stone, Head of a man with wide-eyed eyes, of which there are two other studies for the same head at the Louvre (estimate: € 20,000-30,000). There is also a wash of the most famous history painter of his time, Francois-André Vincent, Two episodes of Lesage’s Gil Blas, estimated between € 30,000 and € 40,000.
Mr. and Mrs. Forneri have also enriched their important collection of sumptuous decorative works of art. The collection includes a large number of painted enamel pieces, such as a splendid enamel ewer of prestigious provenance. The richly decorated composition is inspired by an engraving illustrated in the Historical Quadrins of the Bible, a work first published in Lyon in 1553. Although unsigned, this ewer can be attributed to Jean Court, showing similarities to two tazzes signed today from the Frick Collection in New York (estimate: € 80,000-120,000).
Another object of interest is a large oval enamel dish (1561), painted in grayscale with gold highlights, an actual painting of a battle scene against Amaleck by Pierre Reymond, famous Limousin enameller of the Renaissance. The technique of painted enamels, born in the previous century, was considerably improved in the 16th century and the works of Pierre Reymond, many of which are kept in renowned institutions around the world, testify to great technicality.
The artist has produced high-quality objects of various kinds (salt shakers, a pair of which is also available for € 20,000-30,000, ewers, plates or bowls). An exceptional piece where the ornamentation adapts to the shape of the object and comes from the old collection of the Earl of Roseberry (Mentmore Towers, ill. Right), estimated at € 150,000 to € 250,000. Collectors will also have the opportunity to acquire polychrome enamel plaques, including a set of twelve plaques depicting the Apostles by another Limousin master, Colin Nouhailher, estimated between 30,000 and 50,000 €.
Furniture – the couple’s first passion, which is made up of a rich selection of lots: consoles, secretaries, chandeliers, armchairs, mirrors, rugs, corner fountains … – is thus celebrated among the greatest cabinetmakers, like an elegant chest of drawers from Transition period, stamped by Jean-Francois Oeben (15,000-25,000 €). from Oeben creativity is reflected in the marquetry and design of this chest of drawers, which attracted prestigious clients such as Madame de Pompadour, to whom he supplied furniture through the merchant Lazare Duvaux from 1752.
The Marchioness also intervened in his favor in 1754 by giving him the title of cabinetmaker-mechanic to the king and helping him find accommodation at the Gobelins factory. Another remarkable piece attributed to Joseph Feuerstein is a secretary, also from the Transition period, in rosewood veneer, amaranth and marquetry, a model comparable to ours is in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin (estimate: € 20,000-40,000). Collectors will also be able to acquire a very nice pair of armchairs, stamped by Mathieu Bauvé (estimate: € 15,000-20,000), researcher and innovator, who has developed an atypical repertoire of exaggerated shapes and lines, combined with a classic ornamental vocabulary, such as acanthus leaf, volute, interlacing, piastres and other laurel garlands.
Lovers of sculpture will be delighted by remarkable pieces of great modernity and yet very old, such as this feminine marble idol with clean lines, delicately carved with a head in the shape of a lyre (2600-2500 BC), estimated 70 000 € -90,000.
The Forneris also turned to Oceanic art, collecting important works, such as a superb statue of Malaga presented in a beautiful state of conservation and estimated at 50,000-70,000 € or a statue of the island of Bougainville (12,000 -18,000 €) both of Czech origin. collections. Asian art did not escape its thirst for discovery either by acquiring a magnificent pair of six-leaf screens, emblematic of Japanese art, estimated between € 20,000 and € 30,000.
Auction: September 28, 2021 at 2 p.m.
Exposure: From September 24 to 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open Sunday September 26 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Christie’s: 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris