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Nicolas-Antoine Taunay
Paris 1755 - 1830
LE CHANTEUR DE CANTIQUES
JUMP TO LOT
20
Nicolas-Antoine Taunay
Paris 1755 - 1830
LE CHANTEUR DE CANTIQUES
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

A Private European Residence: French and Neoclassical Furniture and Paintings & Works on Paper

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Nicolas-Antoine Taunay
Paris 1755 - 1830
PARIS 1755 - 1830
LE CHANTEUR DE CANTIQUES
signed lower right: Taunay.
oil on canvas
33.6 by 42 cm.; 13 1/4 by 16 1/2 in.
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Provenance

The artist's deceased's sale, Paris, 28 February 1831, lot 29;
Sale, Paris, Petit, 3 June 1835, lot 23;
Baron Emmanuel Léonino;
His sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 18-19 March 1937, lot 51 (15,000 F as a pair with Scène de Carnaval (Lebrun Jouve no. P. 487);
Anonymous sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 10 June 1954, lot 53 (reproduced plate XVI);
Anonymous sale ("Collection d'un Grand Amateur"), Paris, Palais Galliéra, 29 November 1965, lot 130 (20,000 F);
Anonymous sale, Paris, Palais Galliéra, 7 December 1967, lot 156 (22,000 F);
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 22 May 1997, lot 97, where acquired by the present owner ( $43,760 )

Exhibited

Paris, Bienniale des antiquaires, Galerie J.-F. Heim, September 1996.

Literature

C. Blanc, Histoire des peintures de toutes les écoles, vol. II, Paris 1865, p. 409;
Documentos sobre a vida de Nicolau Antonio Taunay, um dos fondadores da Eschola Nacional de Bellas Artes, Rio de Janiero 1912, p. 65;
C. Lebrun Jouve, Nicolas-Antoine Taunay, Paris 2003, p. 310-312, cat. no. P.770, reproduced p. 311.

Catalogue Note

The scene depicted is one that was still commonplace in town squares in 18th century France; the chanteur is singing "cantiques", or hymns, to the pious crowd and selling them rosaries and hymn sheets.  The group of onlookers watch with interest as the young man stands on his stage singing these religious songs enlivened by the reproduction on the backing board of four religious subjects: Christ visiting the Virgin, The Virgin in Prayer, probably Saint John the Evangelist and the other unrecognisable. 

Initially a landscape painter who, along with Jean-Louis Demarne and Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld, would make regular trips to the forests of Saint-Germain, Fontainbleau and Compiègne in the 1770s, Taunay's scope widened considerably with each passing year.  In 1801 he illustrated Pierre Didot's edition of Racine's Les Plaideurs and later, through the Empire, he received many commissions from Napoleon himself for commemorative and battle paintings and exhibited several at the Salons, including Passage des Alpes par le général Bonaparte in 1801.  In 1816 he went to Rio de Janeiro with his brother, the sculptor Auguste-Marie Taunay (1768-1824), where they helped set up an Academy of Fine Arts, Nicolas-Antoine returning in 1824 after his brother's untimely death.  From Brazil Taunay sent many paintings back to be exhibited at the Salon which caused a great stir and earned him the Légion d'Honneur.

Lebrun Jouve (see Literature) dates the present work to the 1820s on the basis of the characterisation of the figures ("profils au nez allongé").

A Private European Residence: French and Neoclassical Furniture and Paintings & Works on Paper

|
London