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    Sale 2135

    Important Old Master Paintings and Sculpture

    28 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 87

    Jean-François de Troy Paris 1679-1752 Rome

    Diana and her Nymphs at the bath; and Venus and Cupid

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Jean-François de Troy Paris 1679-1752 Rome
    Diana and her Nymphs at the bath; and Venus and Cupid
    oil on canvas
    28¾ x 36 1/8 in. 73 x 92.1 cm. each
    a pair


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    This accomplished pair of paintings has only recently been recognized as youthful works by Jean-François de Troy from around 1710-1715. While the beautifully described head of Venus finds its closest parallels in contemporaneous portraits by the artist's father, François de Troy (1645-1730), such as that of the Duchess du Maine in The Astronomy Lesson of the Duchess du Maine (circa 1705-1710; Musée de L'Ile-de-France, Sceaux), the overall composition seems entirely unique. Its pendant -- depicting the goddess of the hunt, Diana, being dried and dressed by her attendants after her bath -- is similar to several other representations of the subject by the younger De Troy from the late 'teens and early 1720s, especially The Bath of Diana, which is known only from copies (see C. Léribault, Jean-François de Troy 1679-1752, Paris, 2002, p. 241, no.*P.66), and another Bath of Diana (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Léribault, op. cit., 2002, p. 82) that Léribault dates to around 1720. The close observation of nature, rhythmic interlacing of figures, and sensual appreciation of the soft flesh of the female form found in these early canvases would come to characterize De Troy's art throughout his long career.

    Special Notice

    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Provenance

    Anonymous sale; Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 10 June 1938, as 'Charles Coypel'.
    Anonymous sale; Bayeux, 24 March 2008, as Jean-François de Troy.