Veitch, the first horticulturist to be knighted, played a major role in the formation of the Royal Horticultural Society and was responsible for securing a permanent home for the annual flower show on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. He owned the painting Roses by Henri Fantin-Latour (1936-1904) until his death in 1924. It is thought the current vendor's family acquired the painting from the Fine Art Society in the 1950s. It now carries an estimate of £200,000-300,000 at Bonhams sale of 19th Century, Victorian and British Impressionist art on September 28.
“Flower Painting Par Excellence”
The French artist Fantin-Latour made his first visit to England in 1859 and exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibitions. He showed more than 80 works – many of them flower studies – between 1862 and 1900 and became a friend of James McNeill Whistler.
Whistler introduced Fantin-Latour to British collectors and examples of his work can now be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Charles O’Brien, Bonhams director of 19th century paintings, said: “Fantin-Latour was once described – with justice – as ‘the 19th century French flower painter par excellence’. His paintings were enormously popular in Britain during his lifetime and they continue to enchant collectors in this country and throughout the world.”