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Pair of Oil Paintings, French School, After François-hubert Drouais
Young girl with a basket of flowers and young boy holding a bird's nest. Oil on canvas, each These are oil paintings set in elegant Louis XVI giltwood frames and copies after Drouais. Received into the Académie Royale in 1758, Drouais had already made a name for himself the year before with his double portrait of the Comte de Provence and Duc de Berry as Children (1757; Museu de Arte, São Paolo), in which the hallmarks of his style are already in place: a glossy, highly finished manner coupled with a meticulous rendering of sumptuous costumes and a sweet idealization of his sitters' faces. Drouais was at his best in the numerous sentimental portraits of the children of noble families in fancy dress, such as the Comte and Chevalier de Choiseul as Savoyards of 1758 (Frick Collection, New York), and the Comte d'Artois and His Sister Riding a Goat (1763; Musée du Louvre, Paris). The success of these paintings attests to the fashionable affectation of les grands to espouse the virtues of the simple rustic life. The present pair of paintings, which function as genre images, may well be portraits of an unidentified brother and sister in fancy dress. While they serve as charming depictions of childhood, their attributes -- the little boy capturing a resistant bird, the adolescent girl holding two pink flowers beside her budding breasts -- also relate to the long-standing tradition in northern art of employing children to allegorize awakening sexuality. A reduced, unsigned oval version (or copy) of the boy holding the bird, but against a plain background, is recorded in the photo files of the Frick Art Reference Library. See Christie’s Arts of France sale in New York, 2 November 2000, Lot 143 which sold for $248,000.
- In the Style Of
- Place of Origin
- Date of ManufactureSecond Half of the 19th Century
- Materials and Techniques
- WearMinor losses.
- DimensionsH 33 in. x W 22.5 in. x D 2 in.H 83.82 cm x W 57.15 cm x D 5.08 cm
- Seller LocationBoston, MA
- Seller Reference Number2047
- Reference NumberLU837612726551
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5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2007
Located in Boston, MA
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