Fine Antique Decorative Arts by Estate Liquidations and Consignments
18th C French Gouache Painting Louis G Moreau 1739-1806

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Watercolor: Pre 1800: item # 1159031

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Estate Liquidations and Consignments
South Central United States
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18th C French Gouache Painting Louis G Moreau 1739-1806

18th Century Gouache and Watercolor painting, on wove paper, by Louis Gabriel Moreau (1739/40-1805/06) Paris, France, unsigned, noted or signed on verso card, "Louis Moreau L'Aine." Highly detailed and skilful painting showing figures among ruins, mountains, lakes and boulders. It is not clear what the figures are engaged in, although we venture a guess that one is fishing and the others are observing the ruins. We should point out that other landscape paintings by this artist show workmen in fields carrying similar, straight poles, presumably tools of some sort.

Sight area is about 6" x 9.25", matted and framed to 10.25" x 13.75". The narrow gold leaf frame shows wear, the photo being representative of the wear all 'round the frame. Condition of the painting is excellent, and we have examined it out of the frame, with appropriate photos shown. It is secured to card in one small area, center-top, only, which can be removed by a professional, if desired. c. 1760-1780. $35 US Shipping.

Provenance: The Dorothy Scharf Collection -- included works by major English watercolour painters of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and other fine French and Italian artists. Dorothy Scharf was the granddaughter of a professional art dealer and assembled the collection over a period of some forty years with the help of family funds. Many of the works were bought from, or with the advice of, a small number of leading London dealers including Agnew’s, Leger and Spink.

The bequest, following Dorothy Scharf’s death, of fifty-one works from the Dorothy Scharf Collection was the most significant single addition to the Courtauld’s distinguished collection of works on paper in London for over twenty-five years. The Courtauld was set up to collect works from the Golden Age of British watercolour painting between 1750-1850. The current owner purchased the painting in 2009.


Gouache paintings by this artist have sold at auction as high as $140K, Artcurial Briest Le Fur Poulain F. Tajan, 2008. [Askart]

"Louis-Gabriel Moreau, called Moreau L'Aine . . . Moreau, a native Parisian who seems never to have left the Ile-de-France, was the elder son of a wigmaker. His younger brother, the engraver and draftsman Jean-Michel, is called Moreau le Jeune, to distinguish the two freres Moreau. Little is known about Louis-Gabriel's personal life or about his working procedure. He did make a few drawings, along with watercolors and oil paintings, but above all, he is a master of gouache. He studied with Pierre-Antoine De Machy, a painter who specialized in views of Paris and ruins. De Machy may have determined the course of Moreau's career, for the younger artist's first exhibitions, at the Exposition de la Jeunesse in 1760 and 1761, consisted of drawings and paintings of architecture and ruins. Three years later when Moreau was received into the Academie de Saint-Luc twice, 1764 and 1774, and in 1778 at the Salon de la Correspondance. He tried twice in vain, to gain admission to the Academie Royale (1787 and 1788). Landscape painters were not recognized by the Academie Royale, which not only hurt MOreau's prestige and probably his personal honor, but also excluded his participation in the Salons. Finally, when the Salons were opened to all artists, he exhibited there (1791-1804). He enjoyed some royal patronage, having been named painter to the Comte d'Artois, a younger brother of Louis XVI. During the Revolution, Moreau was active on a number of committees and eventually worked for the new Museum. One of his roles was as restorer of paintings. He continued to paint and exhibit gouaches and oils until 1804, the year before his death at age 66." [French Watercolors of the 18th Century, Office du livre SA, Fribourg, 1969]

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