Lot 13
  • 13

Louis Roland Trinquesse

80,000 - 120,000 USD
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  • Louis Roland Trinquesse
  • "Le Feu aux poudres"
  • oil on canvas
  • 23 5/8 x 28 3/4 inches


Anonymous sale, Monaco, Sotheby's, 8 December 1984, lot 386;

Anonymous sale ("Property of a Gentleman"), London, Sotheby's, 3 July 1997, lot 74;
There purchased by the present collector.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This amusing painting is in beautiful condition. The paint layer has recently been cleaned and varnished. There are no restorations clearly visibly under ultraviolet light, except possibly in the center of the sky. All of the details throughout the figures and landscape are very well preserved and if the varnish were to be freshened, the painting could be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Although better known during his lifetime as a portrait painter, Trinquesse's favorite subject was the pursuit of love and carnal pleasure in either the confines of the boudoir or in fanciful romantic landscape environs as seen in this titillating scene. In the center of the composition we see an elegant maiden lying with her yellow satin skirts billowing up around her waist and putti igniting the "fires of love" while above the heavens are trying to put them out with torrents of water.   The men, eager for a different outcome, raise their umbrellas determined to keep the fires burning. Trinquesse here displays his theatrical gift for comic intrigue that would have impressed even his contemporary the playwright Beaumarchais.

Trinquesse's artistic style owes much to the depictions of romantic dalliances by the earlier generation of French artists, including Fragonard, Watteau, de Troy and Boucher. Indeed one of Fragonard's most erotic works at the Louvre shares this title "Feu au Poudres".  A petit maître who operated outside the academic establishment during the reign of Louis XVI, Trinquesse trained in Paris at the Académie Royale and in The Hague, and exhibited at the Salon de la Correspondance, an independent learned society devoted to the encouragement of the arts and sciences, organized by Pahin de la Blancherie. During his lifetime, Trinquesse earned a respected position as a portraitist, counting among his patrons the Vicomtesse de Laval and the Duc de Cossé-Brissac, as well as artists, architects and men of letters.