Old Masters

Old Masters

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 47. JEAN-BAPTISTE GREUZE  |  INNOCENCE .

Property of a private collector


Lot Closed

June 11, 02:47 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


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.

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