A painting and a drawing by Dandré-Bardon acquired by Marseille and by Aix-en-Provence

1. Michel-François Dandré-Bardon (1700-1783)
Academic Male Figure
Oil on canvas - 98 x 135.5 cm
Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Galerie Coatalem

11/12/10 – Acquisitions – Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet – The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille has acquired an Academic Male Figure by Michel-François Dandré-Bardon (ill. 1) from the Eric Coatalem Gallery in Paris.
The staff and robe lying next to the male nude on which he is sitting are too common to offer a possible identification of the subject although the artist may have in fact intended to represent a specific figure in the form of an academic nude. Indeed, this unpublished painting can be compared to another work such as Jacques-Louis David’s Patroclus held at the Musée Thomas-Henry in Cherbourg, dated 1780. Dandré-Bardon seems to have stopped painting after the Salon of 1753 and his appointment as a professor at the Académie royale in 1752. This painting probably dates from the same period.

2. Michel-François Dandré-Bardon (1700-1783)
Augustus Punishing the Corrupt Officials
Black chalk and grey wash heightened with white - 26.2 x 69.7 cm
Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet
Photo : Galerie Coatalem

Another work by Dandré-Bardon, this time a drawing (ill. 2), was acquired by the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, also from the Eric Coatalem Gallery. An article by the artist’s specialist, Ludmila Virassamynaïken (who is also preparing a monography to appear at Arthena Ed.) studies the work in the latest issue of La Revue des Musées de France-Revue du Louvre [1]. This is a large sheet in preparation for the monumental Augustus Punishing the Corrupt Officials, from 1729 and while the spirit of this horizontal composition is close to the finished work, there are however many differences. The artist researched the subject at length before settling on the final work as seen by the first version of the scene which he painted in 1726 on the back of the canvas which was discovered during the restoration carried out between 1984 and 1994. We warmly commend the Musée Granet for having taken the initiative of acquiring this large and beautiful drawing. Still, we would be even happier if the painting it prepares were not hidden behind a series of partitions, thus invisible to the public for who knows how long, as is in fact most of the old masters collection (see article in French).

Didier Rykner, samedi 11 décembre 2010


[1] Ludmila Virassamynaïken, « Auguste punissant les concussionnaires de Michel-François Dandré-Bardon. Une œuvre maîtresse du Musée Granet », La Revue des Musées de France-Revue du Louvre, décembre 2010-5, pp. 42-47.

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