A large painted chinoiserie panel, in the manner of Andien de Clermont 18th century
- 310cm high, 392cm wide; 10ft. 2in., 12ft. 10 1/4in.
Andien de Clermont was brought up as a flower painter under Antoine Monnoyer (who was the son of the more famous Jean Baptiste) with whom he probably came to England in 1717. He may also have had other masters besides Monnoyer or he may have formed his style on the many engravings after Gillot, Audran and Watteau which were then in circulation. After his arrival in England, he worked in several major English houses including Melbury in Dorset, Wilton for the Earl of Pembroke, Radnor House, Twickenham, Syon House, Middlesex for the Ist Duke of Northumberland and Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire producing highly decorative room schemes.
His speciality was a type of grotesque which had come into being at the court of Louis XIV during the latter part of the 17th century. The structure of grotesque and which he followed, latterly became lighter and came increasingly to oust the classical, taking on the distinctinctive forms of Chinoiserie, Turquerie and Singerie.
The aspect of the genre that Clermont is best known for is Singerie. One of his most lively compositions of this genre can be seen in a ceiling at Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire. Although we might have expected Clermont to have practised the French variety of Chinoiserie perhaps combining it with Singerie, no authenticated Chinese decorations by him are known. However it is interesting to compare the maskheads and the trellis and scallop decoration forming part of the Kirtlington composition with the offered lot as there are strong stylistic similarities which suggest an artist in his circle.
There was a great vogue for Chinoiserie decoration in England in the middle of the 18th century and apart from the stylistic similarities to the Kirtlington ceiling other details such as the chair and table depicted which are of an English form would also seem to support an English attribution and provenance. Popular in England at this time were pavilions often of Chinese form in pleasure gardens and a number are recorded including one in the famous Vauxhall pleasure gardens, and another at Boughton House and it is possible that the offered panel formed part of the decoration of such a pavilion.
For further comparisons see Sotheby`s sale at Syon House, 14 - 16 May 1997, lots 17-20, the Clermont Murals commissioned by Hugh, Ist Duke of Northumberland circa 1750 and also a panel matching the present lot was sold Sotheby`s London, Important English Furniture, 6th June 2006, lot 254.