Raphael Chatroux

Raphael Chatroux

Specialist, Fine Art Department


Raphaël Chatroux serves as a Cataloguer in Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists Department, as well as in the Department of European Art & Old Masters. He specializes in 18th and 19th century art, with a particular emphasis on French-related paintings and sculptures.

Mr. Chatroux joined Freeman’s in the summer of 2016, first as an intern for the Fine Art Department, and later as the recipient of the Samuel M. Freeman II Fellowship. Since his arrival, he has worked closely with the specialists, and has developed a wide range of expertise for both American and European works of art. Mr. Chatroux was the cataloguer who oversaw the Fine Art portion of the highly successful sale of the Collection of Dorrance “Dodo” H. Hamilton, as well as the Ottenberg Collection. As a French native, Mr. Chatroux worked in various art centers in Paris prior to joining Freeman’s, including Hôtel Drouot, where he oversaw auctions of fine wine and good spirits, as well as the Palace of Versailles, where he conceived and curated several bilingual audio-guide tours. Mr. Chatroux is an Art History graduate from Paris-Sorbonne University; he also holds a Master’s degree in Art Law.


In their own words...


What's the most rewarding part of working in the auction industry?

Meeting so many different collectors, with their own history, their passion and their philosophy, is what I find the most rewarding. We are taught every single day how an object can have a strong, powerful, and very personal meaning to the people we meet. It is the best way to give meaning to our work, to push you to do the best work on behalf of your clients, and to keep you grounded. Selling art is a people's business, and human emotions and interactions are what I find the most rewarding.


If you could own any object Freeman's has sold, which would it be?

The Portrait of Angèle in profile by Arthur B. Carles sold as part of the Ottenberg Collection. My great-grandmother shared the same name as the model, and I have not obsessed over a painting as much as this one since it sold in 2018.


How has your role at Freeman's shifted over time?

I started as an intern, then became the last recipient of the fellowship award. After a year, I transitioned to the role of cataloguer, which quickly transformed into specialist. I am now head of sale of our American Art auctions.


Name three artists/designers/makers you're excited Freeman's has sold or is offering.

I am always excited to sell works by Arthur B. Carles. Likewise with any canvases by Daniel Garber. I was the most excited when we sold a painting by Berthe Morisot, as well as the beautiful White Interior by Carl Moll.


How would you describe the holy grail of a house call?

Stumbling upon a lost or unrecorded work, and understanding its meaning and importance as you study it more closely. Such was the case with Sylvia Shaw Judson's Bird Girl, which was found during a routine appraisal, and rapidly became the Fine Art department's obsession for an entire season.