• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7586

    West ~ East - The Niall Hobhouse Collection

    22 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 389

    French School, circa 1800

    A classical frieze

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    French School, circa 1800
    A classical frieze
    oil on canvas
    32½ x 87 in. (82.5 x 221 cm.)


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    Painted on an Italian canvas, probably by a French artist working in Rome, this classicising frieze shows the impact of the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum on European painting and design. The use of a single, richly saturated colour for the background recalls Pompeiian wall painting--for example, that in the Villa of the Mysteries.

    The subject, which appears to celebrate the Greek philosopher Claudius Galen's role as Rome's most celebrated physician, relates to the images of legendary Roman heroes created by the Rome-trained French artist Jean Guillaume Moitte (d. 1810) (see G. Gramaccini, Jean-Guillaume Moitte, Berlin, 1993).

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