Lot 31: Jean-Louis Prévost Nointel, 1740 - Paris, 1810 Bouquet de fleurs dans un vase en porcelaine de Chine bleu monté en bronze doré Huile...

Artcurial

November 14, 2016
Paris, France

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Description: Jean-Louis Prévost Nointel, 1740 - Paris, 1810
Bouquet de fleurs dans un vase en porcelaine de Chine bleu monté en bronze doré
Huile sur toile, de forme ovale
Signée 'J. L. Prevost le jeune. f.' en bas à droite
Une étiquette annotée 'Le chevalier / d'Estillac' sur le cadre au verso

Dans un cadre en chêne sculpté et doré, estampillé 'HENRY / LETONNE' travail français d'époque Louis XVI

Flowers in a Chinese blue porcelain vase, oil on canvas, signed, by J.-L. Prévost
h: 60,50 w: 50 cm

Provenance : Collection P., Paris ;
Vente anonyme ; New York, Christie's, 26 octobre 2001, n° 244 ;
Collection particulière, Paris

Bibliographie : Michel et Fabrice Faré, 'La Vie silencieuse en France : La Nature Morte au XVIIIe siècle', Fribourg, 1976, p. 287, fig. 463 (avec une attribution erronée à Jean-Jacques Prévost l'Aîné)

Commentaire : Au cours de la seconde moitié du XVIIIe siècle, les amateurs et collectionneurs français manifestèrent un enthousiasme sans précédent pour les natures mortes inspirées de l'art hollandais et tout particulièrement des délicats tableaux de fleurs de Jan van Huyssum. Certains peintres nordiques comme les frères Gérard et Cornelis Van Spaendonck, Jan Frans Van Dael ou encore Christian Van Pol vinrent s'installer à Paris pour répondre à cette demande et plusieurs peintres français s'attachèrent également à rendre sur la toile avec une précision de botanistes les fleurs, fruits et petits insectes venus s'y abriter.

Parmi ceux-ci figurent en première ligne Anne Vallayer-Coster et les deux frères Prévost, l'aîné Jean-Jacques et son cadet Jean-Louis dit le Jeune, dont nous connaissons la carrière et les œuvres grâce à l'ouvrage richement documenté et illustré de Michel et Fabrice Faré de 19761. Nés à quelques années d'écart, Jean-Jacques et Jean-Louis Prévost embrassèrent tous deux le métier de peintre de fleurs et leurs œuvres furent parfois confondues, comme ce fut le cas pour notre tableau donné par Michel et Fabrice Faré à Prévost l'ainé. La signature de celui-ci ainsi que la grande finesse de sa touche ne laissent cependant pas de doute quant à son attribution à Jean-Louis Prévost le Jeune. Ce dernier fut placé par Cochin dans l'atelier de Jean-Jacques Bachelier dès novembre 1760 et commença à exposer au salon de l'Académie de Saint-Luc en 1774 où ses tableaux et ceux de son frère furent rapidement remarqués et admirés.

La présence de tableaux de fleurs de Prévost parmi de grandes collections de son temps, telles que celle du prince de Conti, vendue en 1777, celle du peintre Sébastien Leclerc en 1764 ou encore celle de Blondel de Gagny témoigne de son succès auprès de ses contemporains. A partir de 1791, il expose au Salon du Louvre, avec notamment un " Tableau ovale représentant des Fleurs " décrit au livret sous le numéro 246.

C'est avec un grand raffinement que Prévost représente ce bouquet dans un vase en porcelaine de Chine posé sur un entablement de marbre. Dans une harmonie de coloris roses, blancs et ocres, les pétales veloutés et les délicates feuilles de ce bouquet se détachent sur un fond sombre à l'aide d'un subtil clair-obscur. Commentant ses œuvres en 1805, Gault de Saint-Germain admire avec justesse l'art de Prévost qui " parvient à prononcer le caractère distinctif de chaque fleur, en même temps que son pinceau s'exerce à fixer l'attitude, la fraîcheur et les grâces fugitives qu'elles reçoivent des caresses de l'Aurore et de sa douce rosée ". Loin de ses prédécesseurs nordiques aux éclatants bouquets où l'œil se perd, et avant les aquarelles de Redouté d'une exactitude toute scientifique, Jean-Louis Prévost traite dans notre tableau de la fragilité des fleurs avec la poésie du crépuscule du XVIIIe siècle français.

1. 'op. cit.', p. 285 à 290 et fig. 459 à 480



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Old Master & 19th Century Art

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