JEAN-BAPTISTE GREUZE | INNOCENCE
Property of a Private Collector
Tournus 1725 - 1805 Paris
inscribed center left: J.B. Greuze f. / 17631
oil on canvas
canvas: 15½by 12⅝ in.; 39.4 by 32.1 cm.
framed: 20⅜by 17 in.; 51.8 by 43.2 cm.
The painting has been relined on a heavy weave relining canvas, but is stable. The surface leaves a reasonably good impression overall, with a lot of loose brushwork throughout. It is under a slightly dirty varnish. Some scattered losses are visible along the upper half of left edge, due to frame abrasion. No major restorations visible under UV. In overall good condition and ready to hang as is. In a giltwood frame with some carved decorative elements.
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.
Richard Lundgren, Gnesta, Sweden (b. 1876), acquired circa 1900;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Unmatched in his ability to capture emotion in a realistic and empathetic sense, Greuze often painted close-up, expressive studies of heads, or têtes d'expression, as a method of exploring a range of emotions, often to use in his larger compositions. This painting relates to the figure of Innocence in Greuze's larger composition of 1786, L'Innocence entraînée par l'Amour ou Le triomphe de l'Hymen and likely served as a preparatory study.2 A number of copies of the head of Innocence exist, suggesting that the larger composition was a highly-regarded painting at the time; indeed, it is traditionally considered to have been commissioned by the comte d'Artois, though recently this has been questioned. A head study for the figure of Cupid is in the Hermitage Museum.3
We are grateful to Yuriko Jackall for her assistance in the cataloguing of this painting.
1. The painting bears a date of 1763, which does not make sense stylistically, though it is possible that an earlier signature and date of 1783 could have later been strengthened and changed.
2. Oil on canvas, 146 by 196 cm., inv. no. RF 2154. See http://cartelen.louvre.fr/cartelen/visite?srv=car_not_frame&idNotice=11084
3. Oil on panel, 45 by 38 cm., inv. no. inv. ГЭ 4969