Our cover this month, Femme au jardin by Blanche Camus, sold for $3,327 at Bonhams British and European Art auction on March 20, 2019 in London. Camus was a French painter of portraits and landscapes during the Neo-Impressionist period. She studied in Paris but mostly worked in southern France, where it appears she kept company with the likes of Henri Martin and Dunoyer de Segonzac.
Gardens and flowers feature most prominently in Camus’ works, usually in soft romantic pastel shades with the occasional pop of color, in a style similar to the one featured on this month’s cover. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree—Camus was the daughter of the well-regarded French botanist Gustave Camus, who was likely the inspiration behind her nature scenes. She regularly exhibited her works in Paris and throughout France and was awarded the highest French order of merit, a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur.
The record price at auction for a Camus piece was realized just two months ago, on Feb. 14, 2019, when her oil on canvas titled Tea in the garden sold for $84,720, a far cry from the estimates her paintings typically command, at a La Suite auction in Barcelona. For some insight on valuations for works sold at auction, flip to Conrad Teitell, Laura Weintraub Beck and Sarah A. Ricciardi’s article, “Deducting Charitable Art Donations,” p. 28.