Georges Williaume's Un Theater will lead 19th century art sale

Georges Williaume's Un Theater a Pao Ting Fu is among the star lots of a sale of 19th century European art at Bonhams London.

It will cross the block on March 2 with a valuation of £40,000-60,000 ($56,400-84,600).

Williaume Chinese art
Williaume is best known for his political artwork

Willaume was a member of the socialist group Etudiants Socialistes Revolutionnaires Internationalistes and mainly produced political artworks.

The present lot is a very rare example of a non-political work and depicts a traditional Chinese scene.

Charles O'Brien, Bonhams' director of 19th century paintings, comments: "It's impossible to look at Un Theater a Pao Ting Fu without gaining an overwhelming sense that Willaume was painting for pleasure.

"The work is a celebration of culture filled with character and the bustle of social interaction. It is thought that Willaume had traveled extensively in China and I like to think that he is painting from memory and personal experience."

The sale features other examples of orientalist art, including a piece titled Interior of Ma Tso Kok Temple, Macau by a follower of Auguste Borget.

Borget once described the temple as "the greatest marvel I have yet seen... viewed as an object of Chinese art, everything in the disposition of the edifice is admirable; its arrangement, its picturesque location situation amidst rocks and trees, as well as the numerous ornaments with which it is enriched."

The identity of the artist is unknown. It carries an estimate of £40,000-60,000 ($56,400-84,600).

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