Two Rare Paintings by Giovanni Boulanger on the Block in Paris


12/11/13 - Art market - Paris - These are not the highest estimates at the Artcurial auction which is to take place this evening, Wednesday 13 November in Paris, but these two works are without question among the most interesting for art history.


1. Giovanni Boulanger (1606-1660)
The Candione Fountain
Oil on canvas - 80 x 118 cm
Artcurial auction of 13 November 2013
Photo : Artcurial

2. Giovanni Boulanger (1606-1660)
The Mule Fountain
Oil on canvas - 80 x 118 cm
Artcurial auction of 13 November 2013
Photo : Artcurial


The painter is indeed very rare. His name is Giovanni Boulanger, or Jean Boulanger, for whom we pointed out a purchase a year ago by the Musée Saint-Loup in Troyes, one of the only known oils on canvas. We refer our readers to this article to find out more about the artist, a Frenchman who spent his whole career working in Italy.
In speaking of the painting, we discussed its very elegant late Mannerism. Although this Mannerist aspect can also be found in these two canvases which are to go on the block tonight, there is however, a certain Classicism. In fact, here again, our suggestion of similarities with certain works by Laurent de la Hyre also applies.
The attribution to Boulanger concluded by Matthieu Fournier, the specialist of old master paintings at Artcurial, was fully confirmed by the provenance of the works : an ancestor of the owners, exiled during the French Revolution, had acquired the Sassuolo palace in Modena. This residence, which belonged to Francesco I d’Este in the early 17th century, had a décor painted by Giovanni Boulanger. These two works with their rare subjects come from this palace and are described precisely in 1784 as hanging in the Camera della Fontana.


3. Alfred de Dreux (1810-1860)
Hunting scene : Empress
Eugénie Surrounded by an Impérial Escort
, 1858
Oil on canvas - 68 x 117 cm
Artcurial auction of 13 November 2013
Photo : Artcurial


We would also like to point out at this auction, a certain number of important drawings including two sheets by Claude Gillot, Watteau’s master, and a magnificent Study of a Woman by Boucher ; among the paintings, the one signed and dated by Pieter Brueghel, in 1615, the year before he changed the spelling of his name to Breughel, as well as two superb paintings by Alfred de Dreux, including an important unpublished one representing Empress Eugénie surrounded by an imperial escort during a hunt.
The quality of the catalogue is also to be commended, offering veritable entries for most of the lots. This practice is common at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s (notably for their auctions in London and New York) but remains rare among French auctioneers.

Artcurial, 7 rond-point des Champs-Elysées, auction Wednesday 13 November at 7 pm. Exhibition Tuesday 12 November until 7 pm and Wednesday 13 November by appointment. Online catalogue.

Version française


Didier Rykner, mercredi 13 novembre 2013



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