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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Wallerant Vaillant (1623-1677)

Details
Wallerant Vaillant (1623-1677)

A trompe l'oeil Still-Life of Prints , a Quill and Sealing Wax on a Letter-Rack on a wooden Partition, a Letter affixed above

inscribed on the foremost print 'ALEQESIS DVRE- PINXIT-'; inscribed and dated on the letter 'Monsieur Monsieur Louis A Par 1671'

24 x 17¾in. (61 x 45cm.)
Provenance
with Julia Kraus, from whom purchased in 1975
Literature
M. Faré, Le Grand Siècle de la Nature Morte en France: Le XVIIe Siècle, Fribourg and Paris, 1974, pp. 162-3, illustrated

Lot Essay

The name inscribed on the print led Michel Faré to propose that the present picture might be the work of Claude Duré, who was received by the Academy of Saint Luke in Paris on 11 January 1658. This suggestion fails to convince, however, due to the discrepancy in the Christian name and in light of the emergence in these Rooms of two other trompe l'oeil still-lifes clearly by the same hand, one sold on 9 June 1972, lot 86, and 26 May 1978, lot 88, as the work of Cornelis Gysbrechts, the other on 25 October 1974, lot 40, as Cornelis Gysbrechts, and 9 April 1990, lot 53, tentatively attributed to Alexis Duré. A print in the former is inscribed 'Alexis duvie fecit', while the latter shows a print identical to that in the present painting but inscribed 'Alexis du Bie fec'. The variations in the name make it unlikely that these inscriptions represent signatures and indeed no painter with a corresponding name is recorded. Thus there seems to be every reason to doubt that Faré was justified in distinguishing the author of these still-lifes from Wallerant Vaillant, whom he discusses alongside 'Duré', loc. cit.. Inscriptions on the letters in the three paintings indicate an artist with connections with Paris and Bruges and the handwriting as well as the style of painting present close analogies with those of Vaillant (see, for instance, the picture dated 1658 illustrated in Faré, op. cit., p. 162, and sold at Sotheby's, New York, 10 Jan. 1991, lot 43, and that in the Seattle Art Museum, Washington, included in the exhibition, Reality and Deception, University of Southern California, Seattle Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Art, and Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1974-5, no. 69, illustrated). Furthermore, it has been observed that a portrait miniature depicted in the still-life last sold in these Rooms in 1990 would appear to be a self-portrait of Vaillant (see the catalogue of the exhibition, Portrait de l'Artiste, images des peintres 1600-1890, Haboldt & Co., Paris, 1991-2, pp. 102-3, no. 43, illustrated)
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