• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 7783

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours Day Sale

    9 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 189

    Jean Restout II (Rouen 1692-1768 Paris)

    The Ecstasy of Saint Benedict

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Jean Restout II (Rouen 1692-1768 Paris)
    The Ecstasy of Saint Benedict
    oil on canvas
    64¼ x 64 in. (163.2 x 162.6 cm.)


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    A replica of similar dimensions of Restout's picture in the church of Saint-Gilles, Bourg-la-Reine, that seems to cut out the left hand edge of the present work. The Bourg-la-Reine canvas, that is signed and dated 1746 and was presented in the Salon of that year, was itself a reprise of another composition (338 x 190 cm.) by the artist, with an arched top and with the Saint depticted in the reverse sense. The slightly starker feel of the present composition can be attributed in no small part to the fact that the artist has replaced the upholstered chair in the Bourg-la-Reine picture with the rather more rustic chair in the present one.

    Christine Gouzi, in her monograph on the artist's oeuvre notes how until the 1730s, the artist repeated only his most celebrated compositions in replicas and variants, but by the 1740s would repeat many more of his compositions, presumably making full use of his studio, in order to satisfy the increasing demand (often for momumentally large canvases) from his ecclesiastical clientèle (see C. Gouzi, Jean Restout, Paris, 2000, pp. 108-11).

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