Adrien Henri Tanoux 1865-1923

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signed and dated 'Tanoux 1921'
oil on canvas
(40 x 27 cm.)

(click on this image for more information)

Many years ago I only had a poor reproduction of this painting and asked for anyone with a better copy to contact me. Now finally, Roberto Bassi has sent me photos that he took in 2019 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice I have reproduced his photos in a restored French 18th century frame with the original Museum ticket. There are a few things to note, the ticket on the frame states that the name of this painting is Namouna and that it was painted in 1922. It certainly looks like an old ticket, and seemed to be on the original frame, thus I have no reason to doubt these details. However an enlargement of the signature of Tanoux with some digital contrast appears to show the date as 1921. There are a number of poor or or what we could call fake Tanoux copies of this painting that can be found on the internet, however I think this is not a copy but is in fact the original.

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oil on canvas
oil on canvas
(215 x 235 cm.)

This painting can be found in LES COLLECTIONS DU MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS DE NICE. The painting was donated to the museum by his sister shortly after the artist's death.

Cette toile s'inspire du roman intitulé Thaïs d'Anatole France et présente l'ascète Athanaël s'apprêtant à convertir Thaïs, une courtisane d'Alexandrie. Tant les personnages que le décor relèvent d'un Orient imaginaire, révélant maintes beautés exotiques. Rien n'a été oublié : ni les formes rubeniennes de Thaïs, ni l'incroyable mélange des genres du décor sensé faire couleur locale. Le peintre a, pour ce faire, notamment emprunté des éléments à l'art des pharaons, au Maghreb et à la Grèce.

La Belle du Harem

"La Belle du Harem"
signed 'Tanoux. 1892-' (lower left)
oil on canvas
(81 x 54 cm.)

This painting was sold at the 2007 Sotheby's Orientalist Sale in Paris 24 October 2007, Lot 137 for 66.250 EUR. It can be found for sale on the internet by Galerie de Souzy, Ref: 5416.

Description de l'¦uvre

Tous les ingrédients de la peinture orientaliste que Henri Tanoux élabore a partir de 1895, sont présents dans cette oeuvre. L'artiste montre sa prédilection pour les sujets féminins permettant le traitement d'étoffes richement brodées, transparentes et légères, qui dévoilent les formes de coprs juvéniles aux incarnats lumineux. A la volupté de l'odalisque fait écho le luxe des marbres, des tapisseries et des ornements muraux. Cette peinture élégante, évoquant un orientalisme théâtral et fantasmé rencontrait un franc succès auprès du public des Salons, auxquels Tanoux participa régulièrement durant sa vie.

Huile sur toile, signée en bas à gauche Tanoux.
Exceptionnel cadre d'origine en bois et stuc dorés.

81 cm x 54 cm (soit 112 cm x 86,5 cm cadre inclus)
32 x 21 1/4 in (44 x 34 in frame included)

The framed image shown above is from artprice.com where you will find 233 auction results for Tanoux alone, pages and pages of auction history for this artist who produced many paintings that can still be found on the market today. I was in the process of framing the digital images of this painting before I discovered this framed example, which is possibly the original frame mentioned in the Gallery details. While I was looking for the best digital reproduction of this painting, I discovered something curious.

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How can we explain the differences in these two reproductions that cannot be wholly attributed to lighting or pixelation. The Sotheby's image on the right is, I suspect ,the original work which has been subjected to the unfortunate restoration shown on the left. The beauty of this woman has been defaced forever, only in the original painting does her beauty shine through. It is just a matter of a few small details however critically important details which render her pump cheeks into ugly fat. A rosy complexion into deathly pale. Her seductive eyes into a sad darkness, her sensous lips into comic caricature. The title for my next book, "how to destroy a $100.000 painting"


How many Orientalist paintings have suffered "restorations" and or caricaturizations? The wary buyer must ever be on the alert for these unscrupulous modifications.

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"An Oriental beauty in an interior"
signed and dated 'Tanoux 1919' (lower left)
oil on canvas
(64.8 x 54.6 cm)

This painting was sold in a Christie's auction in New York 27 October 2004 Sale 1427/lot 58. The price realized was $9,560 although etsimates were $15,000 - $20,000.

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"La toilette"
signed 'Tanoux' (lower right)
oil on canvas
(55 x 38 cm)

A photo of this painting can be found on Drouot.com.

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signed and dated 'Tanoux 1921' (bottom left )
oil on canvas
(74 x 100 cm)
*Salammbo is the heroine of a romantic novel set in Carthage by Gustave Flaubert

This is one of the last paintings that Tanoux worked on, and fortunately you can find high resolution images of this painting on the internet, however all of them have been cropped so that part of the right arm is missing, this I discovered when I found a low resolution picture of the whole painting at bridgemanart.com I was stuck, how could I present a cropped image in a frame? I decided to try to invent the small part that was missing, after all almost no one looks at this arm (unless it is missing) so the reader will have to forgive this temporary digital modification, click here to see a high resolution image of most of this painting.

On the next page we will look at some recently auctioned paintings as well as two items that will be auctioned in the next few days (15/07/2012).

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created by L. A. Miller in collaboration with Jean Duday.


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