17 December 1999
Circle of Jean-Baptiste Pierre (Paris 1714-1789)
Jupiter and Antiope
oil on canvas
34 x 51 in. (88.3 x 131 cm.)
Balletta Collection; sale, Htel Drouot, Paris, 8-11 May 1912, lot 60.
Anon. Sale, Palais Gallira, Paris, 29 November 1976, lot 47, as 'Franois Le Moyne' (sold 68,000 francs).
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J.-L. Bordeaux, Franois Le Moyne and his generation, p. 136, no. X6, fig. 105, under rejected paintings, 'The elongated silhouette of the female nude suggests an influence from N. Bertin and his school. The execution points to Pierre.'
The subject of Jupiter and Antiope became popular in French painting after Carle Vanloo painted it for Marigny's cabinet des nudits, and exhibited his picture in the 1753 Salon, which is probably the terminus post quem for the present picture. We are grateful to Alastair Laing for his assistance in cataloguing this lot and for suggesting, on the basis of photographs, that the picture is probably by a pupil of Franois Boucher or of Pierre.
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