A Deshays and a Devéria for the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quimper

1. Jean-Baptiste Deshays (1729-1765)
The Abduction of Deianira
Oil on canvas - 27 x 35.2 cm
Quimper, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper

31/1/14 - Acquisitions - Quimper, Musée des Beaux-Arts - The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quimper has just added a study by Jean Baptiste Deshays and a man’s portrait painted by Eugène Devéria to its collections.
The first work is a grisaille in oil on paper glued to canvas, representing The Abduction of Deianira (ill. 1) acquired from the Alexis Bordes gallery in Paris. The artist’s manner of painting extremely swift sketches is recognizable here with the drawing created by the large color blocks, in this case white and varying shades of gray. There is no other known work by Deshay representing this same subject. This might just be an example of a simple exercice, not a preparation for any large painting. The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quimper holds an extensive number of 18th century French studies from the collection bequeathed by Jean Marie de Silguy, including an Abduction of Proserpina, also in grisaille, painted by François Boucher who was Deshays’ father-in-law.

2. Eugène Devéria (1805-1865)
Portrait of Léonce Reynayd, 1838
Oil on canvas - 65 x 54.2 cm
Quimper, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper

The second painting (ill. 2), by Eguène Devéria and purchased from Talabardon-Gautier in Paris, represents Léonce Reynaud, an engineer who graduated from the Ponts et Chaussées school and who built the lighthouse at Heaux de Bréhat (recently listed as a historical monument), in the bay of Saint-Brieuc off the northern coast of Brittany in 1840. Using a very limited range of colors, Eugène Devéria demonstrates here the very strong influence of Spanish painting, notably the portraits done by Velázquez, as found also in many artists at this same period. The work is dated 1838, that is the same year King Louis-Philippe inaugurated the Spanish gallery at the Louvre whose importance for 19th century French painter has been established for some time.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quimper has made other acquisitions, essentially in 19th century art which we will discuss in an upcoming news item.

Version française

Didier Rykner, vendredi 31 janvier 2014

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