CIRCLE OF MADELEINE BOULLOGNE | VANITAS STILL LIFE WITH BOOKS, SKULLS, MUSIC, AN HOURGLASS, A FRAME, AND OTHER OBJECTS, ALL ON A TABLE
CIRCLE OF MADELEINE BOULLOGNE
VANITAS STILL LIFE WITH BOOKS, SKULLS, MUSIC, AN HOURGLASS, A FRAME, AND OTHER OBJECTS, ALL ON A TABLE
bears signature and date on the spine of the book: MBO/LLO/GNE/1674
oil on canvas
canvas: 39⅝ by 52⅝ in.; 100.6 by 133.7 cm.
framed: 47½ by 60½ in.; 120.7 by 153.7 cm.
The canvas is lined. The painting presents a strong image with its details well preserved, though the paint has thinned a little only in the shadows. Inspection under UV reveals scattered spots of retouching to the edges, two small spots at left of the red mantle, and a few scattered lines at center. The book at right, before the hour glass, appears to have a minor repair on the white sheet. Painting is in overall good condition given its size and can hang as is. Offered in a giltwood frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
The Art Collection of the First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago 1974, p. 12, no. 307 (as Madeleine de Boullogne);
B. Ebert, Simon und Isaack Luttichuys: Monographie mit kritischem Werkverzeichnis, Berlin and Munich 2009, p. 360, under cat. no. Sim. A7 (as an autograph second version);
C. Salvi, D'après nature. La nature morte en France au XVIIe siècle, Tournai 2000, p. 165 (as an autograph second version);
A. Merle du Bourg, in La nature morte française au XVIIe siècle, E. Coatalem, ed., Dijon 2014, pp. 52, 68.
This dramatically lit vanitas still life relates to a renowned canvas by Madeleine Boullogne, also signed and dated 1674, that is today in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mulhouse.1 It is probable that the example in Mulhouse is the painting Boullogne exhibited at the Salon of 1704 under the title Pensée de Mort. While the two works are similar in their overall composition, they differ somewhat in their use of color tone and handling of the brushstrokes.
The motif of a skull set atop a book with the front of a skull reflected in a mirror also appears in an earlier canvas from around 1645-1650 by Simon Luttichuys.2
1. Oil on canvas, 90 by 122 cm., inv. no. D71.2.51. See Merle du Bourg 2014, p. 52, reproduced.
2. See Ebert 2009, pp. 360-1, cat. no. Sim. A7, reproduced in color p. 125, fig. 71.