A painted study by Vien and a drawing by Etienne Parrocel for Ottawa

1. Joseph-Marie
Vien (1716-1809)
Presentation at
the Temple
, 1756
Oil on paper
stuck on cardboard - 29.3 x 22.5 cm
Ottawa, Musée des Beaux-Arts
du Canada
Photo : Galerie Artesepia

24/3/08 — Acquisitions — Ottawa, Musée des Beaux-Arts du Canada —The Ottawa museum has recently acquired two XVIIIth century French works from the Artesepia Gallery in Paris.
The first is an unpublished study by Joseph-Marie Vien, in preparation for a painting held in Avignon, at the Musée Calvet. Two other painted studies for this Presentation at the Temple were known until now, one at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier and the other at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux. The second is rather close to the final composition whereas the one in Montpellier and the recent acquisition by Ottawa show numerous differences which reveal the artist’s searching. The completed canvas was a commission for the chapel of the Grand Seminaire Saint Charles in Avignon, by the architect Jean-Baptiste Franque (who also designed the building housing the Musée Calvet) [1].

2. Pierre Parrocel (1670-1739)
The Flood
Red chalk heightened with white - 39.5 x 52 cm
Ottawa, Musée des Beaux-Arts du
Photo : Galerie Artesepia

The second purchase made by Ottawa is also linked to Avignon since it is a drawing by Pierre Parrocel (ill. 2), who was born and died in this city where he ran a large workshop. He was the nephew and student of Joseph Parrocel.
The artist’s graphic work, with few sheets existing outside of the Musée Calvet, was recently studied by Yves Di Domenico in the small catalogue published by the Ecole des Beaux-Ats [2]. The artist drew with black or red chalk with white highlights as is the case here. In accomplished drawings such as this one, the style is strikingly close to that of François Verdier.

Addendum (17/11/11) : this second drawing, acquired as a Pierre Parrocel, was attributed to Henri de Favannes by François Marandet in an article which appeared in La Revue du Musée des Beaux-Arts du Canada, volume VI, 2008 : "The Deluge acquired by the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Canada, a drawing by Pierre Parrocel or by Henri de Favanne ?"
Yves Di Domenico also, does not think that this drawing is by Pierre Parrocel.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 24 mars 2008


[1] Cf. Thomas W. Gaehtgens et Jacques Lugand, Joseph- Marie Vien, Arthena, 1988, n° 143, p. 162.

[2] Collective work, Une Dynastie de peintre les Parrocel, Paris, Ensba, 2007.

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