Lot 20: Jean Barbault Viarmes, 1718 - Rome, 1762 Paysanne de Frascati Huile sur toile (Toile d'origine)

Artcurial

November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Jean Barbault Viarmes, 1718 - Rome, 1762
Paysanne de Frascati
Huile sur toile (Toile d'origine)
Porte un monogramme 'VG' sur la toile au verso
Annotée 'Barbault' au crayon sur le châssis au verso

A countrywoman from Frascati, oil on canvas, by J. Barbault
h: 24,50 w: 19 cm

Provenance : Vente anonyme ; Paris, Hôtel Drouot, Me Doutrebente, 8 avril 2005, n° 23 (en pendant avec une 'Vénitienne') ;
Vente anonyme ; New York, Sotheby's, 26 janvier 2006, n° 63 (en pendant avec une 'Vénitienne') ;
Collection particulière du Nord-Est de la France

Bibliographie : 'Jean Barbault (1718-1762), le théâtre de la vie italienne', cat. exp. Strasbourg, 2010, p. 89, n° 22

Commentaire : Délicieuse Frascatane…Cette petite toile dans un état de conservation parfait, ayant conservé ses glacis d'origine et ses subtils empâtements nous séduit au premier regard. Frascati était au XVIIIe siècle un lieu de villégiature extrêmement prisé. Les grandes familles romaines s'étaient fait construire de magnifiques villas dans cette zone des monts albains située à une quinzaine de kilomètres de Rome où il était bon de trouver un peu de fraicheur lorsque la chaleur de l'été frappait la Cité éternelle. Comme le rappelle la bouteille accrochée au mur dans l'arrière-plan de notre toile, Frascati était aussi réputée pour ses vins blancs. Les artistes fréquentaient assidument ses lieux empreints de poésie, jamais très éloignés de leurs mécènes qui leur assuraient souvent gîte et couvert.
Jean Barbault fait partie de ces artistes français incapables de revenir en France après avoir goûté les douceurs de Rome. Bien qu'ayant échoué au concours du Prix de Rome en 1745, il est introduit à l'Académie de France à Rome en 1747 grâce à la protection de son directeur Jean-François de Troy. A la mort de ce dernier en 1742, désormais privé de protection, Barbault doit quitter le palais Mancini. Pour des questions financières vraisemblablement il abandonne alors partiellement la peinture pour se consacrer à l'édition.
Une lettre de Jean-François de Troy au marquis de Vandières (futur marquis de Marigny), en date du 10 novembre 1751, précise une commande relative à une suite de tableaux illustrant les Costumes d'Italie : " Le sr Barbault, pensionnaire, a fini six tableaux des douze que vous lui aviés ordonné. Il les a envoyés par le courrier de Lion à M. Soufflot, qui est chargé de vous les faire parvenir. Ces six tableaux sont : le Suisse de la garde du Pape ; le Cocher du Pape ; le Chasseur ; la Frascatane ; la fille dotée ; la Vénitienne. Il se dispose à faire, conformément à vos ordres : le Cardinal, le Prélat de Mantellette et de Mantellone, dans le même tableau ; le Chevau-Léger ; le Gentilhomme en habit de cour ; la Neptunesse ; la Florentine ; la Donna della Torre dei Greci ; la Calabrese1".
Cette suite de douze tableaux était encore complète en 1863 dans la collection de Léon Gaucherel. Nous savons que Barbault eut tant de succès avec ces petits tableaux illustrant les différents costumes d'Italie qu'il réalisa plusieurs versions des mêmes sujets, toujours avec des variantes, dans les détails des costumes ou dans les fonds. Deux autres versions2 de la Frascatane sont connues, toutes deux sont dans des paysages rocheux, avec des variantes de coloris dans les costumes. La robe blanche de notre Frascatane illustre la dette de Barbault envers Pierre Subleyras

1. A. de Montaiglon et J. Guiffrey, Correspondance…, Paris, 1900, t.X, p.332
2. Cat. exp. Strasbourg, op. cit., p. 89



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