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Jehan Doüelle (Courtrai 1755-1793 Tournai)
Jehan Doüelle (Courtrai 1755-1793 Tournai)

A trompe l'oeil with a playing card, a quill pen, folded journals, spectacles and a drawing fixed to a wooden panel

Details
Jehan Doüelle (Courtrai 1755-1793 Tournai)
A trompe l'oeil with a playing card, a quill pen, folded journals, spectacles and a drawing fixed to a wooden panel
signed and dated 'J.Doüelle pinxit 1775' (lower centre, on the print) and inscribed 'à Monsieur PARIS Monsieur J. Douelle a Courtray en Flandres' (upper centre, on the letter)
oil on canvas
18½ x 14 in. (47 x 35.6 cm.)
Provenance
Henry Clarke; Christie's, Monaco, 20 June 1998, lot 50 (Euro 190,000).
Literature
M. et F. Faré, La vie silencieuse en France, Fribourg, 1976, p. 281, fig. 450

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Lot Essay

The laughing face at the centre of this beautiful trompe-l'oeil is that of the goddess Venus from Boucher's The Judgment of Paris (London, Wallace Collection, inv. no. P444), as it appears in Boucher's preparatory drawing, for which see P. Jean-Richard, L'Oeuvre gravé Françis Boucher dans la Collection Edmond de Rothschild, Paris, 1978, no. 720. It is likely that Doüelle worked not from the drawing itself but from a reproductive engraving of the type produced by Gilles Demarteau (1722-1776), which were themselves designed to 'trompe l'oeil' (trick the eye), by their technique closely imitating the qualities of drawings. Doüelle engages in a playful allusion to his skill in imitating the different media of the visual arts, painting a print which imitates a drawing which was itself made in preparation for a painting - and then placing his signature on the imitation drawing, as though reattributing its invention to himself, reminding us that he 'pinxit' - he painted it.
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