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    Sale 11936

    Old Masters: Part II

    14 April 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 252

    Charles-Francois Grenier de Lacroix, called Lacroix de Marseille (Marseille c. 1700-1782 Berlin ?)

    A Mediterranean port with a fortified tower and an anchored ship, ladies and merchants in the foreground

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Charles-Francois Grenier de Lacroix, called Lacroix de Marseille (Marseille c. 1700-1782 Berlin ?)
    A Mediterranean port with a fortified tower and an anchored ship, ladies and merchants in the foreground
    oil on copper, unframed
    16 ¼ x 23 1/8 in. (41.3 x 58.7 cm.)
    signed 'F. DeLa / croix / 1758' (lower right, on the rock)


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    Lacroix de Marseille painted this large copper panel in 1758, clearly delighting in the medium’s capacity to enhance his delicate brushwork and subtle gradations of light and shadow. The details of Lacroix’s formative years are obscure. He was born in the port city of Marseille, hence his nickname, and it is generally understood that he trained with Claude-Joseph Vernet. Lacroix’s two earliest known works are pendant seascapes, signed and dated 1743, executed in a style very close to that of his master. Beyond those paintings, there is no notice of the artist prior to 1750, when the Marquis de Vandières met him in Rome. Lacroix may have traveled to the Eternal City with Vernet, as they were working there side by side in 1751, when Lacroix executed precise copies of four works by Vernet, all of which are now at Uppark, Sussex. Two years later, after Vernet returned to France, Lacroix appears to have truly come into his own. He would work for another decade in Italy, where he was known as 'Della Croce’, enjoying tremendous success as a painter of fantasy seascapes such as the present work. Lacroix had returned to Paris by 1776, when he exhibited at the Salon du Colisée. Between 1780 and 1782, he is documented as a participant in the Salon de la Correspondance, an alternative public exhibition to the Salons of the official Academy, of which he was not a member. He died in 1782, in Berlin according to Pahin de la Blancherie.

    Provenance

    Acquired by the father of the present owner, and by descent.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM AN EAST COAST COLLECTION