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Jean-Joseph Taillasson (Bordeaux 1745-1809 Paris)

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Jean-Joseph Taillasson (Bordeaux 1745-1809 Paris)

Saint Mary Magdalene in the Desert

Details
Jean-Joseph Taillasson (Bordeaux 1745-1809 Paris) Saint Mary Magdalene in the Desert signed and dated 'Taillasson. 1784.' (lower left) oil on canvas 81 1/8 x 76¾ in. (206.1 x 194.9 cm.)
Provenance
L'Abbé de Pradine, chaplain to the Comtesse d'Arthois, 1785.
Private collection, France.
with Richard Feigen & Co., New York.
Literature
Catalogues of the Paris Salon 1673-1881, compiled by H.W. Janson, New York and London, 1977, IV, Exhibition of 1785, p. 30, no. 111. J. Whiteley, catalogue of the exhibiton, Drawings by Contemporaries of Voltaire - Eighteenth century French drawings from the Print Room of the Ashmolean Museum, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 30 August-27 November 1994, p. 16, under no. 19.
Exhibited
Paris, Salon, 1785, no. 111, 'Une Magdalène dans le Désert. Ce Tableau de 7 pieds de haut, fur 6 pieds 8 pouces de large, appartient à M. l'Abbé de Pradine, Aumônier de Madame Comtesse d'Arthois'.
Special Notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Taillasson was a pupil of Joseph-Marie Vien, whose studio he joined in 1764. After a sojourn in Rome, he settled in Paris and was admitted to the Académie in 1782. He exhibited regularly at the Salon between 1783 and 1806, much of his work characterised by large theatrical compositions and grandiloquent emotion, qualities much admired by the connoisseur Lebreton. Taillasson was primarily a painter but he also wrote several notable art historical books, among them the Observations sur quelques grands peintres (Paris, 1807).

Two studies for the present picture are known, both executed in black chalk on paper. The first, showing some notable differences in the objects on the right side but otherwise homogenous, is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see J. Whiteley, op. cit., no. 19, illustrated). Another drawing, signed, is in a private collection, New York.

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