Lot 48
  • 48

François Perrier

60,000 - 80,000 EUR
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  • François Perrier
  • Jupiter and Semele
  • Oil on canvas


A l'œil nu, le tableau se présente dans un état de conservation très satisfaisant. Il a fait l'objet d'un réentoilage réalisé à la fin du siècle dernier, très correctement réalisé et qui n'a pas tassé la matière. Il a fait l'objet d'un nettoyage très probablement à la même période, également bien réalisé. Le tableau a une très belle matière. On remarque quelques légères reprises au-dessus de la tête de Sémélé. A la lampe UV, on remarque quelques traces de vernis vert ancien. On remarque les restaurations déjà signalées dans le coin supérieur droit au-dessus de la tête de Sémélé. Quelques reprises dans la barbe et la chevelure de Jupiter. Quelques petites reprises dans le dos de Sémélé, très ponctuelles. Quelques restaurations dans la partie basse, notamment dans les coins. To the naked eye, the painting is in a very good overall condition. It has been relined at the end of the last century in a good wat which did not flattened the painted surface. It has been cleaned probably at the same period of time, in a good way as well. The painting has a nice painted surface. We can see some minor restoration above the head of Sémélé. Under the UV light, we can see some traces of a green old varnish. We can see the already mentioned restorations above the head of Sémélé. Few restorations in the beard, and the hair of Jupiter, few minor restorations in the back of Sémélé. Few restorations in the lower part, in the corners.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Discovered for this auction, this powerful painting by François Perrier had not been the subject in any publication of artworks devoted to the painter.

This feverish subject, drawn from Jupiter's many lovers, evidently offers Perrier a new pretext for dedicating himself to the representation of opposed anatomies, masculine and feminine, linked in a wide and sensual embrace. He expresses in this painting a rather obvious example of his lively and energetic skill with the use of a restricted and homogenous chromatic range, quite characteristic of his great works realized between 1635 and his second Roman stay.
The artist, bolstered by his first Italian training, had in fact befriended Giovanni Lanfranco in Rome in the years 1625-29, of which he retained the lessons. He then returned to France where he became closer to the most wanted painter in Paris since his return from Italy in 1627, Simon Vouet1. In Paris, Perrier took advantage of great exposure and was immediately perceived at the rightful level of his strong stylistic and pictorial personality. A frontal aesthetic, made up of powerful bodies and musculatures often associated with a warm palette, defined the works of this period. One finds it in particular in his Sacrifice of Iphigenia housed in the Museum of the Fine Arts of Dijon2, a work very influenced by his Italian stay, but dated by the museum around 1632.
However, the closest work to ours, that includes this very constricted composition and rendering the bodies occupying the majority of space, remains his Daedalus and Icarus3, executed around 1631 according to the art historian Alvin Clark4. Likewise to our painting, this canvas is distinguished by its massive, charismatic, and powerful shapes without, however, excluding a flexible gesture, previously placed in the wake of Vouet.
These noted and original characteristics would be highly appreciated within the aristocratic Parisian circles and will lead him to work, just before his departure for a second stay in Roman in 1635, on the decoration of the chapel for the Marquis d'Effiat's château in Chilly.

1. A. L. Clark, François Perrier, Les premières œuvres de Lanfranco à Vouet, Paris, 2001, p. 103
2. Inv. 4931
3. François Perrier, Dédale et Icare, huile sur toile, vers 1631, collection particulière, reproduite dans Peintres français du XVIIe siècle, cat. Exp. Hôtel de Ville de Charenton, 1986, pl. 8
4. Op. cit. p. 97