Waldmüller and Poyer : Three Acquisitions for the Département des Arts Graphiques

1. Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1875)
The Old Violonist, 1828
Watercolor and gouache - 32.5 x 26.7 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : SVV Ferri

16/12/14 - Acquisitions - Paris, Musée du Louvre - Museums rarely announce their recent acquisitions. Nevertheless, the Louvre has just published a press release listing several donations and purchases which we had already mentioned (the two paintings by Michel-Ange Challe, the Lamentation by François Barois and, for the Musée Delacroix, the Equestrian Portrait of Jérôme Bonaparte by Géricault).
We did not know however about the pre-emption, last 4 December at the Hôtel Drouot (Ferri auctioneers) for 60,000€ without charges, of a watercolor gouache by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller : The Old Violinist (ill. 1) [1]
In 2004, the Département des peintures had acquired two landscapes by this artist who is rarely found outside of German or Austrian museums. This watercolor is about the same size as the two small paintings and although its technique makes it undoubtedly a drawing, the very detailed style is close to the works done by Waldmüller in his early years when he was a miniaturist. Indeed, this is a repeat of a painting of the same size and composition, also dating from 1828, residing in a private collection. This work had a companion piece, A Boy Receiving a Medal for his Diligence at School, which was also duplicated in a watercolor.
The Louvre had staged a small retrospective in 2009 for this Austrian painter known for his landscapes, portraits, still-lifes and genre scenes. He was already represented in the Parisian museum with examples of the first two genres, (a Portrait of a Woman as an Amazon with her Dog was purchased in 1986), but the museum did not yet own any depictions of the peasants Waldmüller was so fond of. These are similar to the works showing inhabitants of the Roman countryside painted at the same period by almost all the artists living in Italy, which he in fact never visited. This drawing with a prestigious provenance, (it belonged to the Austrian Empress Karoline Auguste von Bayern), is the first by the artist to be acquired by the Département des Arts Graphiques.

2. Attributed to Jean Poyer (documented from 1465
to1498-died before 1504)
Angel of the lAnnunciation
Gouache, heightened in gold, parchment - 18.1 x 11.2 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Saint-Honoré Art Consulting

3. Attributed to Jean Poyer (documented from 1465
to 1498- died before 1504)
Virgin of the Annunciation
Gouache, heightened in gold, parchment - 18 x 11 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Saint-Honoré Art Consulting

Jumping back several centuries in time but in France, we would like to point out a donation by the Amis du Louvre [2] of two sheets (ill. 2 and 3) from an unidentified Book of Hours, probably painted by Jean Poyer in the late 15th century and acquired from Etienne Bréton (Saint-Honoré Art Consulting) in Paris.
These two gouaches, heightened in gold, on parchment representing the Virgin and the Angel of the Annunciation are a very rare and high quality example of the art of this native of Tours, most likely a student of Jean Fouquet who was one of the painters of the period most influenced by Italy, notably Mantegna. His work has only recently been rediscovered and highlighted these last few years in two exhibitions : that of the "Primitifs français" at the Louvre in 2004 and Tours 1500. Capitale des Arts in 2012 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tours.

Version française

Didier Rykner, jeudi 16 janvier 2014


[1] We are behind in our coverage of acquisitions at the Département des Arts Graphiques ; in fact, the press release states the purchase in 2012 of a work by Moritz Michael Daffinger, another Austrian artist from the Biedermeier period which we did not discuss. We will make up for it in an upcoming article.

[2] This donation appears on their website but not in the Louvre’s press release.

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