Neo-Classicism and the 19th century Highlighted in Parisian Galleries

1. Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Study of an Armchair
Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

26/3/12 - Art market - Paris - Since 2011, the exhibition which Talabardon & Gautier offer annually takes place in March, instead of in the autumn. Except for this modification in dates, the tradition has not changed otherwise : the publication of a beautiful and well documented catalogue and the always exceptional quality of the objects on display.

The 2012 edition includes very important works : a charming drawing by Boilly with a young girl carrying her little brother on her shoulders, a watercolor by Degas representing a blue armchair (ill. 1), preparatory for the Portrait of the Bellelli Family in the Musée d’Orsay painting, as well as a rare, small wax bust by Carpeaux, after a Caffieri sculpture held at the Comédie-Française (ill. 2). Finally, there are also a painting and a watercolor by Géricault.
Visitors will appreciate the Neo-Classical landscapes, among which two companion pieces by Louis-Pierre Baltard, known mostly as an architect (notably the Palais de Justice in Lyon) and the father of Victor Baltard, but also a subtle painter. One of his canvases evokes the Villa d’Este, the other the temple of Aesculapius at the Villa Borghese. As we learn in the detailed entry, these two paintings, dating from the artist’s stay in Rome in the early 1790’s, retain a symbolic character representing man’s domination of nature.

2. Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875)
after Jean-Jacques Caffieri
Portrait of Rotrou
Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

3. Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld (1758-1846)
The Grande Cascade at Ermenonville
Oil on Canvas
Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

4. Adolphe-Martial Potémont (1827-1883)
Letters from Alsace-Lorraine
Oil on Canvas
Galerie Talabardon & Gautier
Photo : Galerie Talabardon & Gautier

Another landscape, by Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld, The Grande Cascade at Ermenonville (ill. 3), depicts retrospectively Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Marquis de Girardin, with the latter’s family and friends, sailing on the lake near the waterfall. We know that Rousseau spent his last days at the Marquis’ home in Ermenonville (see news item of 19/3/12).
When this painting was produced (it was shown at the Salon of 1831), the park was in a total state of abandonment. Bidauld’s point of view is seen from the middle of the lake. Thanks to this trick, he avoids representing Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s cenotaph, located on the Ile des Peupliers : it would of course have been impossible to show the philosopher alive and also represent his funerary monument.
Besides a terracotta by Rodin, we would like to point out a strange painting (ill. 4), by the unknown Adolphe-Martial Potémont, a student of Léon Cogniet, representing torn letters, bearing double, French and German, franking, which took place during the months of February and March 1871 in Alsace-Lorraine. Here again, the symbol - the regret of having lost these two regions - is obvious.

5. Pierre-Antoine Baudouin (1723-1769)
The Evening of the Tuileries
Gouache - 29.2 x 22.6 cm
Exhibition F. Fiacre - C. Kiener
Photo : D. R.

6. Lucien Levy-Dhurmer (1865-1953)
Pond in Versailles
Pastel, Ink and Wash - 49.5 x 56 cm
Exhibition F. Fiacre - C. Kiener
Photo : D. R.

Another exhibition devoted almost exclusively to the 19th century - but not only since it presents notably a sheet by François Boucher and a very high quality gouache by Pierre-Antoine Baudouin (ill. 5) owned previously by Chardin - opened a few days ago at Fabienne Fiacre’s who associated herself for the occasion to Chantal Kiener.
They offer several landscapes done in oil on paper (Paul Flandrin, Rosa Bonheur, Ercole Gigante...), Symbolist works including a very beautiful Lucein Levy-Dhurmer (ill. 6) and an oil on cardboard which is particularly poetic by the little-known artist, André-Pierre Lupiac, as well as academic drawings among which a superb Study of Drapery by Auguste Glaize (ill. 7).
We also noticed two very different works, both in dates and style, but comparable in their quality and attractiveness : another Study of Drapery by Joseph-Ferdinand Lancrenon, a student of Girodet (ill. 8), and a Couple of Green Parrots by Simon Bussy.

7. Auguste-Barthélémy Glaize (1807-1893)
Study of Drapery on a Sat Man
Black Pencil and Charcoal - 62.3 x 43.7 cm
Exhibition F. Fiacre - C. Kiener
Photo : D. R.

8. Joseph-Ferdinand Lancrenon (1784-1874)
Study of Drapery, 1812
Black Pencil and White Chalk - 39 x 28 cm
Exhibition F. Fiacre - C. Kiener
Photo : D. R.

9. Jean-Claude Naigeon (1753-1832)
Alexander Pays Homage
to the Remains of Darius

Pen and Brown Ink, Brown Wash, Black Chalk,
Graphite, White Gouache - 50.5 x 78 cm
Galerie Nathalie Motte Masselink
Photo : Galerie Nathalie Motte Masselink

We conclude by simply mentioning the very remarkable exhibition which the recently opened gallery, Nathalie Motte Masselink, is currently presenting of drawings (ill. 9) by a Neo-Classical artist, Jean-Claude Naigeon (1753-1832). We will discuss it further in an upcoming article providing information on the sheets acquired by various museums there (almost all were quickly sold in fact).
Accompanied by a richly documented catalogue, this small retrospective is a must (until 21 April) for enthusiasts of French drawings who will discover a talented artist. This revelation may result in other possible identifications of sheets now presented under more prestigious names.

Galerie Talabardon & Gautier, 134 faubourg St-Honoré, 75008. Tel : +33 143 59 13 57. Exhibition from 9 March to 6 April 2012, from Monday to Saturday, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.. Catalogue.

Galerie Fabienne Fiacre, 18 rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris. Tel : +33 6 11 60 67 23. Exhibition from 21 March to 6 April 2012, from Tuesday to Saturday, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Website.

Galerie Nathalie Motte Masselinck, 12 rue Jacob, 75006 Paris. Tel : +33 1 43 54 99 92. Exhibition from 22 March to 21 April 2012, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from 22 to 31 March ; starting 3 April, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Website. Catalogue.

We would also like to mention another exhibition on the 19th century at the Galerie Le Chevalet Bleu, 1 rue de la Grange Batelière, 75009 Paris.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 28 mars 2012

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