51
51

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA

Joseph-Marie Vien
WOMEN IN CLASSICAL DRESS ATTENDING A YOUNG BRIDE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 855,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
51

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF J.E. SAFRA

Joseph-Marie Vien
WOMEN IN CLASSICAL DRESS ATTENDING A YOUNG BRIDE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 855,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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New York

Joseph-Marie Vien
MONTPELLIER 1716 - 1809 PARIS
WOMEN IN CLASSICAL DRESS ATTENDING A YOUNG BRIDE
signed and dated upper right underneath the medallion: .jos.m.Vien. Romes 1777.
oil on canvas
39 3/8  by 53 1/8  in.; 100 by 135 cm.
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Provenance

Commissioned in 1776 by Charles Claude de Flahaut (1730–1809), Comte d'Angiviller, Directeur des Bâtiments du Roi (who emigrated during the Revolution and his collection seized);
Antoine-Gabriel-Aimé Jourdan;
His sale, Paris, 4 April 1803, lot 56;
There acquired by the sales expert, Paillet, probably for the benefit of Abraham Fontanel (1750-1819);
Galerie Fontanel-Matet, Montpellier;
From whom acquired by Jacques-Joseph de Boussairolles on 30 January 1807;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 8 April 1908, lot 30 (withdrawn from the sale);
Thence by descent in the de Boussairolles family;
By whom sold, ("La Collection Boussairolles"), Monaco, Sotheby's, 18 June 1992, lot 64;
There acquired by the present collector for $420,813.

Exhibited

Paris, Salon de l'Académie Royale de Peinture, 1779, no. 3.

Literature

Mercure de France, September 1778, p. 250;
Livret du Salon, Paris, 1779, no. 3;
P.-S. Du Pont de Nemours, "Lettres sur les Salons de 1773, 1777 et 1779," addressed by Du Pont de Nemours to Margrave Caroline-Louise of Baden, in Archives de l'Art Français, 2, Paris 1908, p. 68;
P. Chaussard, "Le Pausanias français," Salon de 1806, publié par un observateur impartial, Paris, 1806, p. 54;
P. Chaussard, "Notice sur J.-M. Vien," in Revue Universelle des Arts, 17, 1863, p. 27;
A.-L. Millin, Voyage dans les départements du Midi de la France, Paris 1807-1811, vol. 4, p. 315;
T. Lejeune, Guide théorique et pratique de l'amateur de tableaux, Paris 1863, vol. 1, p. 275;
H. Cozic, "Vien, sa vie et son oeuvre," in Revue de France, 1865, p. 193;
L. Tremblay, "Le peintre Vien, d'après de nouveaux documents," in Revue contemporaine, 30 September 1866, 2nd series, no. 62, p. 267;
F. Aubert, "Joseph-Marie Vien," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1st series, vol. 23, 1867, pp. 306 and 307;
L. De La Roque, Biographie montpelliérenne, Peintres, Sculpteurs et Architectes, Montpellier 1877, p. 53;
A. Lecoy De La Marche, L'Académie de France à Rome, Correspondance inédite de ses directeurs précédée d'une étude historique, Paris 1874, p. 315;
A. De Montaiglon and J. Guiffrey, Correspondance des directeurs de l'Académie de France à Rome..., Paris 1904, vol. 13, pp. 246, 333, 339, 381, 384, 470 and 1905, vol. 14, pp. 9 and 110;
L. Hautecoeur, Rome et la Renaissance de l'antiquité à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Paris 1912, p. 154;
H. Mireur, Dictionnaire des Ventes d'Art, Paris 1912, pp. 368-369;
H. Lapauze, Histoire de l'Académie de France à Rome, Paris 1924, vol. 1, p. 360;
J.-P. Alaux, Académie de France à Rome, Ses Directeurs, Ses Pensionnaires, Paris 1933, vol. 1, p. 189;
J. Claparede, "Les peintres du Languedoc Méditérranéen," in La France de toujours - Languedoc méditérranéen et Roussillon d'hier et d'aujourd'hui..., Nice 1947, p. 225;
A. Chevalier, La collection de tableaux de Jacques-Joseph de Boussairolles 1741-1814, mémoire de maîtrise dactylographié, Sorbonne-Paris 1984, vol. 4, p. 38, cat. no. 33, reproduced plate 33;
T.W. Gaehtgens and J. Lugand, Joseph-Marie Vien, Peintre du Roi (1716-1809), Paris 1988, pp. 194-195, cat. no. 238, reproduced plate 238.

Catalogue Note

Painted by Vien in 1777, Women in classical dress attending a young bride is one of the artist’s finest works in the neo-classical style, and the first of four major works painted by the artist during his tenure as Director of the French Academy in Rome.1 Though history and religious painting dominated his early career, influenced by a particular interest in Italian Baroque painting, Vien went on to become one of the earliest proponents in France of neo-clacissism.  The discoveries at Herculaneum and Pompeii had spurred interest in the antique and a demand for classical subjects.  Starting in the 1750s, using classical motifs and simpler, more linear compositions, Vien was one of the artists most influential in promoting le goût grec.2  His most famous work in this style is his painting The Seller of Loves, exhibited at the Salon of 1763 (Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau).

Commissioned by the Comte d’Angiviller, Directeur des Bâtiments du Roi, in 1776, Vien began work sometime before September as, on the 11th of that month, the artist wrote to Angiviller that he had already completed a preparatory sketch.3  By the beginning of January 1778, the painting was finished and presented at the Palazzo Mancini, at that time the home of the French Academy in Rome, where it was much admired.  Eight months later, it was sent to Paris to be exhibited at the Salon of 1779 and was favorably reviewed by the critics.  Shortly before the Paris exhibition, Angiviller wrote to Vien expressing his delight with the painting: “I can hardly express to you how much pleasure it has given me, and to all the artists who were present when the box was opened. Although seen for the first time in my study, decorated as you know by Rubens, Titian, Guido, etc., it did not seem to me to suffer compared to such formidable neighbors. It will take a place in my study deserving of one of the best productions of one of the masters who does the most honor to the French School."4

1. The others are Hector Urging Paris to Take Up Arms, 1779, Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau; The Family of Coriolanus Imploring Him not to Besiege Rome, 1779, Musée Granet, Aix-au-Provence; and Briseis Led from the Tent of Achilles, 1781, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras.
2 C.B. Bailey, in The Loves of the Gods, Mythological Painting from Watteau to David, exhibition catalogue, Paris 1991, p. 495.
3.  See T. Gaetghen and J. Lugand, under Literature, p. 195, cat. no. 239, possibly identifiable with the sketch that was in the Rosset sale 11 April 1973, lot 301 which is listed in Gaetghen and Lugand on p. 196, cat. no. 240.
4.  "J'ai peine à vous exprimer combien de plaisir il m'a fait, ainsi qu'à tous les artistes qui ont assisté à l'ouverture de la caisse. Quoique vu pour la première fois dans mon cabinet, tapissé comme vous le savez de Rubens, de Titien, de Guide, etc..., il ne m'a point paru souffrir d'un voisinage si redoutable. Il tiendra dans mon cabinet la place que mérite une des meilleures productions d'un des maîtres qui font le plus d'honneur à l'Ecole française;" see A. de Montaiglon and J. Guiffrey, Correspondance des directeurs de l'Académie de France à Rome ..., Paris, 1887-1912, Vol XIV, pp. 9 and 110.

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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