Moreau, born into a family of artists, began his artistic career as an apprentice glassmaker and went on to study at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris – training with Léon Cogniet and Isidore Pils. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1868 with Then Shall This Prophet Go and Encounter a Lion which will Kill Him, a religious subject which art critic Joseph Uzanne noted placed him among the ranks of the greatest painters of contemporary genre. By the early 1870s, he moved away from religious subjects and began exhibiting historical genre works, marking the beginning of a successful career.
These works were well received by critics and reproduced in important art history books of the period. Lew and Giudicelli wrote in Famous Paintings of the World that …Moreau has given us a charming idea of the luxurious life of the French nobility of the sixteenth century. He depicts the pleasures of an idle class, it is true; but idleness and amusement were the privileges of the wealthy and the great of the period from which he has chosen his subjects. …we hardly know whether to admire most of the faces, so full of expression appropriate to the merry occasion; the figures inimitably graceful in action or in repose; or the lovely woodland setting. Collectors across the globe vied for his work and, wealthy Americans acquired many of his important paintings.
La Réception au Château, initially sold by Boussod, Valadon in 1888, only recently resurfaced. Howard Rehs stated that "finding great works that have not been seen in over 100 years is the dream of every art dealer. Even better is finding them in pristine condition with their original frame. We have handled a number of paintings by Moreau, and this one ranks among the finest."
This masterful work was one that the gallery never had a chance to display publicly; selling as they were preparing it for exhibition. Mr. Rehs commented "we find that these fresh-to-the-market masterworks spark a great deal of interest. It might be decades before we see this one again."
For more information, visit https://www.rehs.com or call Howard Rehs at (212) 355-5710
About Rehs Galleries, Inc.
Rehs Galleries Inc. is, along with its principals, considered one of the world's leading dealers of 19th and early 20th-century European paintings and is currently involved in the catalogue raisonné research projects for Daniel Ridgway Knight, Julien Dupré, Emile Munier, and Antoine Blanchard. Howard Rehs was a past president of the Fine Art Dealers Association, is currently on the Board of the Antiques Council, and has been a member of the Internal Revenue Service's Art Advisory Panel since 2008.