Artwork by Joseph-Charles Franchère,  Playing Cards

Joseph-Charles Franchère
Playing Cards

oil on canvas
signed lower right
21.25 x 17 ins ( 54 x 43.2 cms )

Auction Estimate: $9,000.00$7,000.00 - $9,000.00

Price Realized $9,000.00
Sale date: December 1st 2022

Galerie Walter Klinkhoff, Montreal
An Important Private Collection
“The Spectacle of Play”, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Summer 2014
Joseph-Charles Franchère enjoyed a solid reputation throughout his professional career, as both educator and student. In addition to being a teacher for more than ten years, Joseph-Charles studied in Paris at both the Colarossi Studio and at the Académie Julian for several years, and was a pupil of painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme. He returned to his native Montreal in 1890 to accept a commission to execute the principal paintings of the Sacred Heart Chapel of Notre-Dame Church, which soon led to further commissions. 

Franchère's extensive academic training is reflected in the finesse of “Playing Cards” and the rendering of the figure. The artist has depicted the quiet elegance of a woman at leisure, engaged in a cerebral activity. Her refined and studious nature is represented by the skillful staging of the scene. She focuses on her hand of cards, a rose in a delicate vase by her side. As a symbol, the rose represents love and beauty, among other things. Perhaps the woman sitting for Franchère’s painting was someone he cared for. He expertly articulated her facial features and rosy cheeks with a deft softness, surrounding her with warm light. Franchère became an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1902, exhibiting with the Art Association of Montreal, further cementing his standing in the milieu of Canadian artistic circles.

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Joseph-Charles Franchère
(1866 - 1921)

Born in Montreal, he studied with Joseph Chabert at the Institut national des Beaux-Arts, Montreal; with F.E. Meloche at Council of Arts and Manufactures, Montreal (c. 1887-88); with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Joseph Blanc at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1888-92); Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi, Paris.

Evidence of his mastery of portrait painting can be seen in his self-portrait (1894), in the coll. of Musée du Québec. He won three honourable mentions at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and two first prize medals as a student at evening shows in Paris. On his return to Montreal, he opened a studio and painted many portraits and religious murals. He also did landscapes, figure and genre paintings. He painted scenes in oil on board, oil on card, water colour and pastel. The National Gallery or Canada has four works by him: a study for a religious painting, a study of a plaster head of a woman, a rural genre scene, and a dancer with a tambourine, which provide a sampling of his subject matter. He painted in Quebec, Ontario, France, Belgium, Venice, Scotland and elsewhere.

He died in Montreal at the age of 55.

Literature Source:
"A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 1: A-F, 5th Edition, Revised and Expanded", compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1997