Exhibition on the Christ figure at the Mendes Gallery

1. French school, c. 1630
The Crucifixion
Oil on canvas - 89 x 121 cm
Paris, galerie Mendes
Photo : Galerie Mendes

11/5/11 – Art market – Paris – The Mendes Gallery is presenting an exhibition along with a catalogue devoted exclusively to a single iconographic theme, the Christ figure, with some particularly interesting works for art historians, both for their quality as well as for the questions they raise.

One example is the Crucifixion [1] (ill. 1), strangely attributed to Karel du Jardin’s circle at the recent Chirée auction (see news item of 30/3/11) where it was acquired by Philippe Mendes who correctly attributed it to the French school around 1630. The work is a beautiful one even if the suggested comparison with Lubin Baugin’s art does not seem convincing in our opinion, although no other name springs immediately to mind.
Still from the 17th century French school, but from a later date, there is a pair of signed paintings (ill. 2 and 3) constituting an important element in the rediscovery of Jean-Baptiste Clany’s art, for whom there were until now only three known works. Dating from 1684, these two canvases take their inspiration, in the case of the first, from Pierre Mignard’s Carrying the Cross, painted the same year and from Albani’s art for the second.

2. Jean-Baptiste de Cany (?-1693)
Carrying the Cross, 1684
Oil on canvas - 54.5 x 68 cm
Paris, galerie Mendes
Photo : Galerie Mendes

3. Jean-Baptiste de Cany (?-1693)
Holy Women at the Tomb, 1684
Oil on canvas - 54.5 x 68 cm
Paris, galerie Mendes
Photo : Galerie Mendes

We would also like to point out several other interesting pieces in this exhibition which include three drawings by Luca Cambiaso [2], a grisaille executed in oil on wood attributed to Abraham van Diepenbeeck representing Christ on the Cross with the Virgin, Saint John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene and Saint Francis of Assissi, after a composition by Anthony van Dyck and perhaps in preparation for the engraving, and also a very curious 17th century painting, attributed to the Neapolitan school, representing a Crucifixion where the entire foreground is taken up by an enormous skull, that of Adam, often shown at the foot of the cross, thus transforming the subject into a veritable Vanitas.

Galerie Mendes, 36 rue de Penthièvre, 75008 Paris. Phone : +33(0)1 42 89 16 71. From 28 April to 8 June 2011, Monday and Saturday from 2 to 7 pm, Tuesday to Friday from 11 am to 7 pm.

Galllery website

Didier Rykner, mercredi 11 mai 2011


[1] The work is not included in the catalogue.

[2] Two of these are not in the catalogue.

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