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After Louis-Léopold Boilly
A 'TROMPE-L'ŒIL' OF A WOODEN CRUCIFIX HANGING ON A WALL
signed and dated lower left on the 'cartellino': 'Herminie C.D.' / '1874'

oil on canvas


This painting is a later 19th-century interpretation after the 'trompe l’œil' by Louis-Léopold Boilly, exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1812, where it was described as 'a small trompe l’œil imitating ivory, and of a fine taste in drawing.' That painting was sold at Christie’s, New York, 27 April 2017, lot 20.1

Unlike the ivory crucifix Boilly depicts, the artist here has fashioned the object out of a dark wood, and the position of the figure of Christ is slightly different – His head inclines downwards, rather than looking up, as in Boilly's painting. As well as replicating the pale background, though – almost as if made out of marble – this artist has also included the small 'cartellino' for their signature – designed to appear as a label that might be removed by the viewer. In so doing, this version of such a striking image perpetuates the long tradition of 'trompe l’œil' painting. The genre was not only popular with artists as a means of showcasing their skill, but also with collectors, who could enjoy the visual trick that is played on them.

1 https://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5460664


Unframed: 81.3 x 65 cm.; 32 x 25 5/8  in. Framed: 94 x 66.8 cm.; 37 x 26 1/4  in.
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