National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 6, 1982-1983 

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Paintings by Restout on Mythological and Historical Themes: Acquisition by the National Gallery of Canada of Venus Presenting Arms to Aeneas

by Pierre Rosenberg and Antoine Schnapper

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4      


1 "Jean Restout (1692-1768)," Archives de l'Art Français, vol. XIX (1938), pp. 99-188, see nos 3 to 9 of the bibliography, pp. 186-187.

2 Galerie françoise, ou Portraits des hommes et des femmes célèbres qui ont paru en France, Gravés en Taille-douce par les meilleurs artistes, sous la con- duite de M Restout... Avec un abrégé de leur vie par une société de gens de lettres (Paris: 1771). This work, sometimes compiled in two volumes, was originally published in eight monthly instalments, ail dated 1771. Restout's biography is at the end of the last instalment.

3 "Éloge de Mons' Restout," mentioned by Trébutien and published by Ph. de Chennevières-Pointel. Recherches sur la vie et les ouvrages de quelques peintres provinciaux de l'ancienne France, vol. III (Paris: 1854), pp. 308-329, see p.314.

4 "précis de la vie de M Restout...," Mercure de France (February 1768), p.195.

5 Article cited by Mariette, Abecedario, published by Ph. de Chennevières and A. de Montaiglon, vol. IV (1857-1858), p. 384, and republished by Ph. de Chennevières, Nouvelles Archives de l'Art Français (1886), pp. 282-283.

6 "Éloge de M Restout; par M Duboullay: Précis analytique des travaux de l'Académie royale des sciences, des belles-lettres et des arts de Rouen, depuis sa fondation en 1744 jusqu'à l'époque de sa restauration le 29 juin 1803, vol. III 1761-1770, (Rouen: 1817), see p. 284.

7 procès-verbaux de l'Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, 1648-1793, published by A, de Montaiglon, vol. IV (Paris: 1881), p, 251.

8 Ibid., p. 247, 29 May 1717.

9 "Exhibition catalogue Jean Restout (1692-1768), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen (June-september 1970), p. 19.

10 see the admission of Watteau, 30 July 1712, J.B. Massé, 30 June 1714, J. M. Nattier, 25 May 1715, Vleughels, 27 July 1715, Oudry , 26 June 1717, Procès -verbaux..., op. cit., on the appropriate dates.

11 Rouen exhibition catalogue, op. cit., descriptive list, no. 5, p. 186.

12 Exhibition catalogue From Watteau to David. A Century of French Art, Maurice ségoura Gallery (New York: 1982), no. 5, 102 x 137 cm. signed "Rêtout" in lower right-hand corner, ill. The catalogue entry is attributed to Christophe P. Janet. Thanks to Dr Boerlin of the Kunstmuseum Basel we now know the provenance of this painting to have been the collection of Nikolaus Reber-Passavant (1735-1821), an art dealer at Basel, sold at Basel in 1810; we cite an extract from the sale catalogue: "Jean Restout 1 et 2. Deux Tableaux, faisant Pendants. Sujets de l'Énéide. L'un représente Vénus commandant à Vulcain des Armes pour son Fils Énée. L'autre Junon qui demande au Dieu des Vents de faire périr la Flotte de ce Héros. Sur toile. Hauteur 39 pouces; largeur 51 pouces [105 x 138 cm]." The second painting could be a repeat of our no. 14, Juno and Aeolus, in the Hermitage Museum, which is signed and dated 1727, and measures 189 x 243 cm.

13 Written notification from Myron Laskin, 11 February 1983. The letter stated, however, that the "29" replaced a "31" which had been crossed out (fig. 3). The Ottawa canvas (137 x 105 cm) was sold at sotheby's in London on 7 Apri11982, lot no.114, as Mars and Venus, attributed to Jean Restout (repr.).

14 .Virgil, The Aeneid, Book VIII. Restout is not particularly faithful to the story, especially with regard to the first event. Except that the figures are reversed, the main group in the Ottawa painting bears a rather striking resemblance to the group in the painting by Poussin on the same theme, property of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto O. Thuillier catalogue, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Poussin, Paris: 1974, no.98).

15 A. schnapper, Jean Jouvenet, 1644-1717, et la peinture d'histoire à Paris (Paris: 1974), no.95 and fig. 98.

16 Paul Prouté S. A., Paris, Gérôme catalogue (1977), no. 17, attributed to François Lemoyne (repr.), black chalk with a number of white highlights on grey paper; 25 x 35 cm; squared, ségoura catalogue, op. cit. (repr.). We thank J. Thuillier for sending us the photograph of this drawing, which attributed to Restout since 1977 (Pierre Rosenberg and Antoine Schnapper, "Some New Restout Drawings," Master Drawings (1977), XV, 2, p. 171).

17 procès-verbaux..., vol. IV, p. 246.

18 This painting, catalogued by Messelet (op. cit., no. 141), belonged to Georges Vésier in 1938. According to Messelet, it was signed and dated 1727 and measured 130 x 194 cm. The 1788 catalogue indicates that the painting at the Calonne sale was dated 1728, and measured "47 pouces sur 47 pouces." However, this is probably a typographical error, and the width should have read "74 pouces" instead of "47 pouces." The author of the entry states, "We are familiar with the print by Mr Cochin," whereas it was really a Le Vasseur print.

19 The next number in the Calonne sale (no.155) was The Finding of Moses (fig. 12) (no.100 in our list), which we believed in 1970 to have disappeared. However, it was recently found in a private collection in Chicago.

20 In addition to the article mentioned in n. 15, we would like to point out another work on Restout drawings: "Un nouveau groupe de dessins de Jean Restout (1692-1768) au Musée de Stuttgart," by Pierre Rosenberg and Heinrich Geissler, in Jahrbuch der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen in Baden-Württemberg, 17 / 1980, pp. 133-154. The sixteen drawings for the Miracles du diacre Pâris, which we were unable to locate in 1970, were acquired by the Musée national des Granges de Port Royal at a public sale on 15 December 1980. We cannot resist reproducing a beautiful red chalk drawing - this technique was rarely used by Restout and is new to us. The drawing was put up for sale on 25 March 1983, Paris, no.2, with an attribution to Antoine Coypel (ill.), and was bought by a Paris collector (fig. 13).

21 A number of the paintings we catalogued in 1970 have since changed hands: 21a to Vire; 21b to the Musée des Granges de Port Royal; the sketch for no. 45, formerly at the Bishop's palace, is now on the art market in Paris; no. 57, sold at Christie's in New York, 12 June 1981, no. 152 (ill); no. 74 to Strasbourg; no. 90 to the Saint- Thomas d'Aquin church in Paris; nos 113 and 143, the tapestries of Saint-Vincent de Viviers, were stolen in 1974. Others, which we thought had disappeared, were found: no. 99, on the art market in London in 1981; no. 100, see n. 18; nos 101 and 110, see above; no. 111, a version on the art market in Paris; no. 114, see above; no. 116, a copy at the Tolleville church (Somme); no. 134, found at Bordeaux and acquired in 1976 by the Rouen museum; no. 135, a sketch, on the art market in Paris. In addition, a number of dates were clarified (no. 57, 1744; no. 61, 1742; no. 62, 1762), a number of sketches were found (no. 18, at Quimper; no. 87, in a private collection in Paris; nos 78 and 82, another version at the Coussay les Bois church in Vienne, c.f. I. Riou, Bulletin de la société des Antiquaires de l'Ouest (1981), pp. 163-168), and the list of Restout copies has grown considerably longer. However, very few new original compositions have surfaced. In addition to a number of portraits about which we were informed, we should mention, among others, a Christ Appearing to Saint Roch under the name of Tiepolo at the Church of Saint Nicolas de Saumur; a Hagar and the Angel signed and dated 1745, of which we have only a poor photograph; a Saint John the Baptist (Paris sale, 19 June 1981, no. D, ill.); a curious Sacrifice of Isaac donated by the Bourgueil church to the Tours museum, perhaps a workshop piece; an Agony in the Garden in a private Paris collection, the composition of which is entirely different from that of no. 135; and, above all, the interesting Reading Monk signed and dated 1711, sold at Sotheby's in New York, 20 January 1982, no. 33, ill., and The Angel Appearing to the Prophet Elijah signed and dated 1733 (exhibition catalogue, L'art du XVIIe siècle dans les Carmels de France (Paris, Petit Palais: 1982-1983), no. 111, ill.).

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