1. François de Troy (1645-1730)
The Banquet of Didon and
Oil on canvas - 160 x 230 cm
25/02/ 08 — Call for fundraising and Acquisition — Sceaux, Musée de l’Ile-de-France — The Journal Officiel of 23 February has published a fundraising appeal for the purchase of a painting by François de Troy representing The Banquet of Didon and Aeneas (ill. 1). Under the guise of a mythological subject, the artist in fact represents the court at Sceaux of the Duke and Duchess of Maine. According to the Mercure de France : “All of the Figures appear in their most exact resemblance, placed and arranged with all the grace, decency and appropriateness demanded by their various ranks and characters. A painting that could be termed the latest effort and an artistic masterpiece” . In studying the age of the children in the picture, Dominique Brême was able to date the canvas, exhibited at the Salon de 1704, between April and October 1702.
The Duke and Duchess are represented as Dido and Aeneas while the other figures have not all been identified. Dido’s palace is imaginary. The painting was installed in the Maines’ apartment at the Tuileries Palace in Paris, then in the second half of the XVIIIth century, was moved to the château de Sceaux. In 1997, it belonged to an American private collector.
The fundraising appeal is for 1,450,000 € ; the companies interested in responding will benefit from a tax deduction for businesses equal to 90% of their contribution .
2. François de Troy (1645-1730)
Portrait of the Countess of
Brionne and her son, Louis of Lorraine,
Lambesc, c. 1697
Oil on canvas - 117 x 92 cm
Sceaux, Musée de l’Ile-de-France
Photo : Philippe Fuzeau
Due to his close relation to the Duke and Duchess of Maine and the court at Sceaux, François de Troy is an important artist for the Musée de l’Ile-de-France. The latter had already acquired in 1988 The Duchess of Maine’s Astronomy Lesson. The museum has also just added to its collection another canvas by the painter representing The Countess of Brionne and her Son (ill. 2), donated by Monique and Elwin Milgrom on the occasion of the exhibition of their private collection at the museum . We did not comment on this show when it was in Sceaux, but we will soon cover it in an article during its stopovers in Arras and Bayonne .