Lot 16: ¤ Jean-Baptiste Pater Valenciennes, 1695 - Paris, 1736 Le Colin-Maillard Huile sur toile

Artcurial

November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Jean-Baptiste Pater Valenciennes, 1695 - Paris, 1736 Le Colin-Maillard Huile sur toile An elegant company playing Blind Man''s Buff, oil on canvas, by J.-B. Pater h: 65 w: 82 cm Provenance : Collection Charles Goding Esq. ; Sa vente, Londres, Christie, Manson & Woods, 14 mars 1891, n° 41 : "A Fête Champêtre" (comme Bonaventure de Bar) ; Vente anonyme ; Londres, Philipps, 2 juillet 1991 ; Vente anonyme ; Londres, Christie''s, 13 décembre 1991, n° 215 (comme Bonaventure de Bar) ; Vente anonyme ; Paris, Artcurial, 13 décembre 2005, n°43 ; Collection particulière, Suisse Bibliographie : Probablement Florence Ingersoll-Smouse, ''Pater'', Paris, 1928, p. 60, n° 299 ou l''un des tableaux cités sous le n° 300 Commentaire : Parmi les nombreux divertissements champêtres volontiers représentés par les peintres de fêtes galantes du début du XVIIIe siècle en France - à la tête desquels se situent Nicolas Lancret et Jean-Baptiste Pater, tous deux marchant dans le sillon d''Antoine Watteau - le jeu de Colin-Maillard occupe une place de choix. Tirant son nom d''un vaillant guerrier du Xe siècle qui, blessé aux deux yeux au cours d''une bataille, aurait continué à se battre en frappant ses adversaires au hasard, ce jeu consiste à bander les yeux de l''un des participants qui doit ensuite en attraper un autre et deviner son identité par le toucher. Ce passe-temps connut un grand succès en France de la Renaissance au XVIIIe siècle. Les règles du jeu sont une invitation au badinage et à la séduction. Dans sa Maison des Jeux publiée en 1642, Charles Sorel le baptise " Jeu de l''Amour " et lui donne une dimension plus symbolique : " Il faut croire que par les [yeux] bandés, l''on veut représenter l''aveuglement des amoureux, et le trouble des passions et affections diverses, qui sont excitées par celle de l''amour, qui est ordinairement la maîtresse des autres et la plus absolue1 ". Un tel sujet ne devait pas manquer d''attraits pour ces peintres, poétiques illustrateurs de l''esprit galant du début du XVIIIe siècle. Pater représenta le jeu de Colin-Maillard à plusieurs reprises, proposant différentes variations autour de ce thème qui connaissait alors un grand succès, comme le montrent une gravure de Jacques-Philippe Le Bas (fig. 1) et un tableau de Nicolas Lancret (Stockholm, Nationalmusem) contemporains de notre tableau. Contrairement à ses contemporains, qui représentent tous deux un homme les yeux bandés entouré de coquettes venant le taquiner, Pater a placé le bandeau sur les yeux d''une jeune élégante dont on ne sait si elle a attrapé le galant qui est auprès d''elle ou si c''est lui qui a profité de son aveuglement pour s''en approcher. Il a également donné à son sujet une dimension allégorique, peuplant le ciel de son tableau de petits amours et en plaçant un aux côtés du couple central. Originaire de Valenciennes comme Watteau, Pater fut reçu à l''Académie royale en 1728 comme peintre de fêtes galantes, au même titre que celui-ci. Il resta à l''écart de la commande officielle et su s''entourer d''amateurs et de marchands qui appréciaient ses toiles. L''un de ses plus prestigieux mécènes ne fut autre que Frédéric II de Prusse, dont l''on connait l''admiration pour Watteau, qui posséda plus de quarante tableaux de Pater au sein de sa collection de Potsdam. La version du Colin-Maillard que nous présentons est très proche de celle que possédait ce prince. 1. Charles Sorel, ''La Maison des jeux (…)'', Paris, 1642, p. 248 2. Florence Ingersoll-Smouse, ''Pater'', Paris, 1928, p. 59, n° 292, fig. 65
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Old Master & 19th Century Art

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November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET

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