Lot 364
  • 364

Philip Mercier

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Philip Mercier
  • A boy drawing at his desk
  • oil on canvas


Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 11 October 1990, lot 17;
Where purchased by the present collector. 

Catalogue Note

Philip Mercier first studied in Berlin with Antoine Pesne, then traveled in Italy and France before arriving in England in 1716.  A portraitist patronized by the English gentry, Mercier was also influenced by Antoine Watteau and Jean-Siméon Chardin, whose work he knew through prints.  He was Principal Painter to Frederick, Prince of Wales, but was replaced in 1736, moved out to the country and turned from portraiture to anecdotal pictures.  Mercier is credited with bringing the French style of genre and conversation painting to England. 

When the present picture was offered at auction in 1990, John Ingamells confirmed it to be by Mercier on the basis of photographs, dating it to the 1730s and noting Chardin's influence.  An oil sketch by Mercier of the present composition was previously on the art market in London.