Jacques Dubois, maître in 1742.
These splendid corner cupboards, painted with lush landcsapes with exotic birds and with elegant friezes in the new nascent neo-classical style, are part of a small but celebrated group of painted pieces, all employing the same distinctive green ground, by Jacques Dubois and his son René, who continued to use his father's stamp following the latter's death in 1763.
These encoignures, which continue to display mounts which are purely Louis XV in style despite the neo-classical nature of the painted frieze, are likely to have been executed in the father's lifetime. It is intriguing to note therefore in the inventory of the firm's stock taken in 1772 when his son negotiated its purchase, the following entry, which it is tempting to link to the corner cupboards offered here:
-2 Encoignures peintes avec des paysages sur les portes
While many of the painted pieces from Dubois's workshop are painted with grisaille panels of playful putti, rarer, and perhaps earlier, are the examples with full-coloured pictorial panels. These include a commode at Waddesdon Manor and a secretaire formerly in the collection of Sir Anthony de Rothschild, both painted with maritime scenes after Vernet. The painted panels of the corner cupboards offered here, with their lush landscapes with exotic birds so clearly influenced by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, are apparently unique in the group.
It is likely that such precious painted pieces were created for a marchand mercier, and it is interesting to note that the commode at Waddesdon Manor cited above is inscribed au Petit Dunkerque. This was the name of the shop of one of the most fashionable marchands merciers in Paris, Charles-Raymond Grancher, whose shop sign was actually painted by Vernet, while in 1772 he advertised painted furniture among his stock, including 'Secrétaires dans un goût chinois, ornés de peintures et de bronzes' (see G. de Bellaigue, The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor: Furniture, Clocks and Gilt Bronzes, Fribourg, 1974, vol. I, pp. 226-8).