Exhibition on the 19th century at the Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

21/12/08 – Art Market – Paris – The Talabardon & Gautier Gallery in Paris is presenting its annual exhibition on the 19th century until December 31st. As usual, there is an accompanying catalogue which is particularly rich with a detailed study of each work.

We will mention only a few of these here, based on a subjective choice, starting with a small terra-cotta figure by David d’Angers (ill. 1), in preparation for the monument to Bichat erected in Bourg-en-Bresse in 1843. The manner in which the sculptor uses the clay to depict the texture of the doctor’s clothes, at the same time catching the light, is admirable and reveals his virtuosity. In an opposing fashion, he stylizes the child revealing a canon and proportions which are not at all realistic. Once again, we see here the expressive anatomical distortion characteristic of David d’Angers and which can be found, for example, in some of his busts.

1. Pierre Jean David,
known as David d’Angers (1788-1856)
Bichat, 1841
Terracotta - 26.6 x 15.5 x 16.7 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

2. Camille Corot (1788-1856)
In the Forest of Fontainebleau, c. 1845-1850
Oil on canvas - 54.5 x 40 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

The masterpiece of the hang in the gallery is undoubtedly the painting by Camille Corot (ill. 2). Painted in a part of the Fontainebleau forest which has not been located precisely, this work can be dated back to around 1845-1850, that is over twenty years after the one just recently acquired by the Musée de l’Ecole de Barbizon (see news item of 17/12/08). The presence of a pine tree, on the right side of the composition, helps to date the work as this variety of tree was not introduced in the forest until the July Monarchy.

Visitors can also admire works by less well-known artists which nonetheless reflect impeccable taste in their selection. This is the case for instance of three studies for a landscape by Emile Loubon (ill. 3), of The Construction Site of the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre by Victor Dargaud (around 1850-1921) which, besides its fine quality is fascinating for its documentary evidence and also of The Bay of Naples by Louis-Auguste Lapito (1803-1874).

3. Emile Loubon (1809-1863)
Study of Clouds
Oil on maroufled paper on canvas - 33.5 x 49 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

4. Léon Bonvin(1834-1866)
The Plain of Vaugirard, 1856
Fusain - 17.3 x 26.5 cm
Paris, Fondation Custodia
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

At the last Salon du Dessin, the gallery presented a charcoal drawing by Léon Bouvin, immediately acquired by the Fondation Custodia which has lent it for the exhibition (ill. 4). Although it makes for an easy comparison, Seurat’s name obviously comes to mind as the technique strongly evokes the artist’s drawings. And yet this Plain of Vaugirard was executed three years before he was born…

5. Emile Reiber (1826-1893)
Bookcase for the Vatican, 1878
Pen, China ink, watercolour - 71 x 112.5 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

Two works are especially impressive for their monumental aspect. The first is a large panorama of Sebastopol by the little-known Henri Duran-Brager (1814-1879). It measures 2.70 in width and 56 cm. in height, representing the siege of the city seen from the English side. Napoleon III had commissioned a series of canvases from the artist on the same subject but from the French front. These works, exhibited at the Salon de 1857, are held in Versailles. The second one is a project for a library by Emile Reiber for the Vatican (ill. 5) where this piece of furniture, 6 meters long and produced by the Maison Christofle, can still be seen today.

6. Lucien-François Feuchère (c. 1760-c. 1841)
Homage to the Count of Paroy
Golden bronze, lapis-lazuli - 19.3 x 35 x 1.5 cm
Paris, Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

We will conclude with the Homage to the Count of Paroy by Lucien-François Feuchère (ill. 6), a member of the illustrious dynasty of sculptors and casters. This bronze and lapis lazuli bas-relief is a tribute to Jean-Philippe-Guy Le Gentil, count of Paroy, a man of many talents, collector, draughtsman and engraver as well as industrialist (he created one of the first fine pottery factories in France) and inventor.
As Bertrand Gautier pointed out to us, the recent catalogue on the bronze exhibition at the Louvre explains that in 1803 Paroy sold his collection of 83 bronzes to Charles IV of Spain. Since Feuchère worked for Charles IV, this homage might have taken place at that time and the bas-relief possibly given to the count by the king.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 1er décembre 2008

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