Lot n° 59
8000 - 10000 EUR
Result with fees
PARIS, 1688 -1737
Study of a woman for the celling painting of the ceiling of the Salon d'Hercule in Versailles
Black stone and white chalk on blue paper 26 x 28 cm
Study of a woman for the celling painting of the Salon d'Hercule in Versailles Black and white chalk on blue paper 10,2 x 11 in.
Bears two collector's stamps: Philippe de Chennevières; Louis de Glatigny.
A wonderful discovery, this figure of a reclining woman that we are presenting for sale today is a preparatory sketch for the large ceiling of Hercules by François Lemoyne at Versailles (fig. 1).
An immense fresco, covering an area of nearly 314 square meters, it is today the largest Italian-style ceiling painting made in France. At the end of the project, the painter will be named First Painter to the King, succeeding Louis de Boullogne (1654 -1733)
Originally, the commission was placed by the Duke of Antin, then Director of the King's Buildings? He wanted to create a set of salons forming the king's ceremonial apartments. Although the theme was initially discussed and reflected on a glorification of the monarchy through the History of France, the subject was finally settled on "Hercules conquering vices and monsters, ascending to Olympus on a chariot drawn by the geniuses of Virtue".
When he received the commission, François Lemoyne thought of compartmentalizing his composition in order to choose an immense narrative painting, which would not be interrupted by any architectural element. In his preparatory drawings, he looks at Edmé Bouchardon (1698 -1762), who had himself observed Raphael (1483 -1520) in Italy.
Our elongated figure is thus a preparatory sketch for one of the 142 characters in the fresco (fig. 2). Within the composition, she takes her place in the triangular group of young women whose culminating point is Hebe brought to Hercules.
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