Lot 15: Jean-Baptiste Oudry Paris, 1686 - Beauvais, 1755 Le repos de la Sainte Famille pendant la fuite en Egypte Huile sur toile

Artcurial

November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Jean-Baptiste Oudry Paris, 1686 - Beauvais, 1755
Le repos de la Sainte Famille pendant la fuite en Egypte
Huile sur toile

The rest of the Holy Family during the flight into Egypt, oil on canvas, by J.-B. Oudry
h: 81 w: 65,50 cm

Provenance : Collection privée, Vienne

Commentaire : C''est en tant que peintre d''histoire que Jean-Baptiste Oudry fut reçu en 1719 à l''Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. L''allégorie de l''Abondance qu''il présenta à cette occasion (Versailles, musée national du château) illustre une femme assise dans un paysage entourée des merveilles de la nature, animaux, légumes, fruits et fleurs, témoignage éclatant des multiples talents de cet artiste aussi bien dans l''art du portrait et du paysage que dans celui de la nature morte et, bien sûr, de la peinture animalière. Ses tableaux d''histoire sont cependant d''une grande rareté et la redécouverte de ce Repos de la Sainte Famille pendant la Fuite en Egypte vient poser un nouveau jalon au sein de cette production méconnue.
A partir de 1713, Oudry a conservé le souvenir de nombre de ses compositions peintes en les dessinant et en rassemblant ces dessins dans un " Livre de raison ". Deux albums datés de 1713 et 1716 sont conservés au musée du Louvre ; au frontispice du premier figure l''inscription " Livre dans lequel j''ai dessiné tout ce que j''ai peint ". En partie démembrés, ils contiennent en majorité des dessins de portraits. Les autres feuilles figurant des paysages, natures mortes, sujets de genre ou d''histoire, plus commerciales, furent séparées des albums et dispersées.
C''est grâce à l''une de ces feuilles, récemment offerte au musée de Montréal avec d''autres dessins provenant d''une importante collection québecquoise, que nous avons pu identifier notre tableau comme une œuvre de jeunesse de Jean-Baptiste Oudry dont il avait gardé la trace dans son Livre de raison (fig. 1)1. Ce dessin est à rapprocher de la Sainte Famille présentée dans la vente de la collection Huquier, collectionneur qui possédait les albums du Livre de raison, en 1761² et peut être daté vers 1715-1717, peu de temps après la fin de son apprentissage chez Nicolas de Largillierre.
Il était entré dans l''atelier du maître en 1707, à l''âge de 20 ans, après des débuts à l''Académie de Saint Luc dont son père était le directeur. Largillierre était alors à l''apogée de sa carrière et enseigna son art au jeune peintre pendant environ cinq ans, lui apprenant à ne négliger aucun sujet et à s''efforcer d''exceller dans tous les genres picturaux. Notre Repos de la Sainte Famille pendant la Fuite en Egypte avec son ciel obscur, sa végétation omniprésente, ce rayon de lumière latéral ou encore les fins visages de ses personnages n''est pas sans rappeler les tableaux d''histoire du maître.
Quelques années plus tard, en 1717, Oudry présente comme morceau d''agrément à l''Académie une Adoration des Mages réalisée pour Saint-Martin-des-Champs3 dont la composition, plaçant la Sainte Famille dans un paysage au pied de quelques ruines classiques et surmontée d''une nuée de chérubins, est très proche de celle de notre tableau. De dimensions plus modestes, le Repos pendant la Fuite en Egypte constitue un charmant tableau de dévotion réalisé pour un commanditaire privé.


1. Plume et encre brune, lavis brun, signé en bas à droite et numéroté ''No. 2'' au crayon au verso, 21,70 x 16,80 cm, inv. 2014.349
2. Amsterdam, 14-26 septembre 1761, n° 2808. Voir H. Opperman, J''ean-Baptiste Oudry (1686-1755) with a sketch for a catalogue raisonné of his paintings, drawings and prints'', thèse de doctorat, Chicago, 1972, vol. III, p. 628, n° D 165
3. Huile sur toile, 230 x 206 cm, aujourd''hui accrochée dans l''église Saint-Georges de Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, voir H. Opperman, cat. exp. ''J.-B. Oudry 1686-1755'', Paris, 1982, p. 64-65, n° 19



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Old Master & 19th Century Art

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