Fine 18th and 19th Century Furniture, Paintings and Accessories
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French School (Early 18th Century)

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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: Europe: French: Pre 1800: Item # 915173

Please refer to our stock # 6950 when inquiring.
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524 North Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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Allegory of Sculpture and Architecture

French School (Early 18th Century)

Oil on canvas.

Painting size: 25” x 34”
Frame size: 30” x 39.25 ”

These sumptuous female figures serve as allegories for two prized arts in France at the turn of the 18th century. On the left is sculpture, signified by a chisel in her hands. She sits beside a pair of Roman busts, one overturned, the other sporting a helmet possibly representing Pallas Athene. On the right is Architecture, holding a measuring device to assess a building plan spread across her lap.

Baroque French artists were deeply influenced by the sculpture and architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, giving rise to a style known as Neoclassicism. During this era France also saw major building campaigns, vividly exemplified by the transformation of Louis 14th favorite hunting lodge at Versailles into a lavish royal residence, complete with extensive gardens decorated with sculptures of classical figures and forms.

While these figures allude to antiquity, their sweet- faced appearance along with the use of soft pastels suggest a merging of French Neoclassicism with the more lighthearted Rococo style.