For this autumn season, the Alexis Bordes Gallery has chosen a dozen works (paintings, sculpture and engravings) on the theme of Nobility & Royalty.
The greatest 17th and 18th century artists were often the King’s Painters and depicted notable court personalities as well as Nobles of the Gown.
We begin our royal perambulation with a very rare equestrian Portrait of Louis XIII by Claude Deruet realized in veined grey marble. Having survived in marvelous condition, this work is characteristic of royal portraits, in which the mounted armored sovereign is depicted wearing the Order of the Holy Spirit and holding his baton of command.
Jean-Marc Nattier, Painter to Louis XV, is honored with the Portrait of Charlotte Paulmier de La Bucaille, Marquise de Cany. This beautiful lady lived in a palace built in the Pays de Caux at Cany-Barville during Louis XIII’s reign. The artist chose to depict her as a river goddess with a jug from which water flows as if it were a spring.
The sitter is vividly rendered with a light sfumato and subtle rosy tones in the almost porcelain handling of her face. Along with the use of the well-known “Nattier blue” characteristic of the painter, iridescent reflections of the silk taffeta cape confer great elegance to the sitter.
We continue our stroll through the reign of Louis XV with a portrait painted by François Hubert Drouais depicting Monsieur Florent Jacques Le Pot d’Auteuil in the intimacy of his study.
Received into the Academy in 1758 and trained mainly by François Boucher, Drouais became one of Madame de Pompadour’s favorite painters.
Drouais also responded to the demands of the nobility and high society by painting magistrates, foreign ambassadors, professors, and illustrious artists.
Florent Jacques le Pot d’Auteuil was a notary at the court as well as for the royal family. Here he is enthroned at his desk writing his will. In our painting, Drouais’ skill is noticeable in the brilliant transcription of velvets and laces.
From Louis XV’s reign, we continue to that of Louis XVI with a superb bust Portrait of Marie-Antoinette realized by Louis Simon Boizot. With his distant gaze, the proud sovereign is recognizable at first glance by his characteristic aquiline nose, firm mouth and chin, as well as by his finely rendered dimples.
The Sevres manufactory produced reduced scale biscuit models of the bust of the queen as well as of Louis XVI in 1784.
The 19th century is featured with a magnificent full-length standing Portrait of the Princess of Artois, the Duchess of Berry’s daughter, on the beach of Dieppe by Alexandre-Jean Dubois-Drahonet. In the Romantic era, when spending her summers at the Château d’Eu, among the Duchess of Berry’s habits was the first regular sea bathing in France. Realized in 1830, our picture is very touching on account of the grace and elegance of the Princess of Artois. The artist took pleasure in rendering the effects in the delicate fabrics of the Duchess of Berry’s daughter’s attire with her balloon-sleeved dress, her gloves the hue of fresh butter, her straw hat and small umbrella for facing the coming rain.
Bathing in the sea was a novelty for the epoch with the first beach cabins which were on wheels with small removable wooden steps.
We will be delighted to welcome you to the gallery from October 14th to December 22nd and have you discover this beautiful flowering.
Paris, October 2022