Two of Girodet’s early works recently acquired by Montargis


1. Anne-Louis Girodet
De Roucy-Trioson (1767-1824)
Portrait of the artist’s brother, Antoine-Etienne
de Roucy, Seigneur de Verger
, c. 1784-1787
Oil on canvas - 64.6 x 45.7 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet

15/10/07 – Acquisitions – Montargis, Musée Girodet – On June 20, 2007, Christie’s Paris put up for auction a portrait by Girodet representing his brother (ill. 1) at an estimated price of 20,000 to 30,000 euros. This beautifully austere painting belonging to Girodet’s early years as an artist attracted few bids from the amateurs or the American museums in the audience, which prefer more spectacular works, and was not sold since it did not reach “reserve price”. In a wise move, the Musée de Montargis acquired it after the sale thus rounding out its collection [1]. The portrait will join the new hanging of the master’s works at the start of the visit through the museum.
Antoine-Etienne Girodet, the artist’s older brother, was born in Montargis 13 January 1757. A gambling addict, he lost significant amounts of money, and his family was obliged to pay off his debts. His father consequently deprived him of his rights as first-born. The painting, which is not dated, should probably be situated around 1784-1787 based on the style [2]. It cannot have been painted after July 1787 because Antoine is depicted as a Captain of the English Gendarmes in Lunéville, a commission he held until this date, before becoming a Queen’s Dragon and then dying prematurely in 1802 at the age of 45.


2. Anne-Louis Girodet
De Roucy-Trioson (1767-1824)
Study for the figure of one
of Tatius’ assasins
, 1788 (before restoration)
Black pencil heightened with white chalk
on sepia paper - 56 x 44 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet

3. François-Louis Dejuinne (1784-1844)
Girodet Painting “Pygmalion and Galatea ?
In the Presence of Sommariva
, 1821
Oil on canvas - 65 x 54.5 cm
Montargis, Musée Girodet


Shortly after this acquisition, the Société des Amis du Musée Girodet donated a preliminary drawing (ill. 2) for the painting submitted to the Prix de Rome 1788 representing The Death of Tatius [3]. The figure is one of Tatius’ assassins. This drawing which had been on display at the Girodet exhibition in Montargis in 1967 and is reproduced in the Louvre’s catalogue to its retrospective, was purchased directly from the private collection where it was held. It had previously belonged to the painter Charles Philippe Auguste Larivière, a student of Girodet.

In concluding this News item about the latest pieces to enrich the Musée Girodet’s collections, we would like to point out that the museum was also able to purchase a few months ago a painting by Dejuinne, Girodet Painting Pygmalion and Galatea (ill. 3) which it had already considered acquiring last year (see article on La Tribune de l’Art of April 23, 2006).

Version française


Didier Rykner, vendredi 19 octobre 2007


Notes

[1] The painting had been sold in 1991 by Sotheby’s Monaco for 144,300 French Francs, that is 22,000 Euros

[2] Written communication by Richard Dagorne

[3] The exact subject sent to the applicant was the following : Tatius, a colleague of Romulus, who after having abandoned the ambassadors from Lavinium to the fury of the Sabines, and daring to return to Lavinium with Romulus to make a sacrifice to the Trojan gods, is assassinated by the Lavinium people at the foot of the altar, with the same knives that were used to slaughter the sacrificial victims.



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