Neoclassical Orientalist Female Portrait Oil Painting by Godfried Guffens


This delightful oil on canvas by the Belgian artist, Godfried Egide Guffens (1823-1901), depicts a robed female beauty plucking petals from a daisy flower, as in the familiar French game of "he loves me, he loves me not" (or "effeuiller la marguerite", literally "pluck the daisy"). Canvas measures 36" by 10.25" (91 by 51.5 cm) and resides in an old giltwood frame. It is signed "Guffens" toward the lower left corner of the canvas.  Stretcher carries the stamped mark of an art supply company in Brussels. Canvas has been relined and varnished, and there are some minor visible losses which have been restored along the upper edge of the stretcher. There is also some visible overpainting near the subject's right foot. There are also a few recent losses to the gesso as seen in our images.”

Guffens was known primarily for his historical and religious themed murals. At the age of fifteen he entered the Antwerp Academy and is known to have travelled to Rome to study the works of the grand masters. His largest mural is said to be in the St. George church in Antwerp, and the result of a collaboration with Jan Swerts. Other murals by Guffens can be seen in the Ypres Cloth Halla, the city hall building in Kortrijk, and in the church of St. Quintinuskathedraal. He regularly exhibited in the annual salons in Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp, and exhibited in Paris as well. He was a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp, the Royal Academy of Belgium, and was correspondent of l'Institut de France.

His works periodically appear at major auction and two recent sales are notable. On 10/2/02, Sotheby's in New York sold a large canvas by Guffens in lot 28, depicting Rouget de Lisle singing the Marseillaise, for $35,850. And on 6/17/04 Christie's in London sold a canvas in lot 13, an allegorical figural subject, for 17,925 BP ($32,785).

Item HA-397. Item sold as is. All sales final.

Our price is firm.

Item Details

Reference #:
Fine Art
Antiques (approx100yrs)
Late 19th Century
(Width x Height X Depth)
x x
Very Good