[Manuscript drop-titles]: Catalogue des Tableaux de Madame la Comtesse de Verrue dont la Vente a commencée le Mercredi 27 Mars 1737. [Second drop-title]: Reprise de la Vente des Tableaux de Madame de Verrue le 29 Avril 1737.
[Manuscript drop-titles]: Catalogue des Tableaux de Madame la Comtesse de Verrue dont la Vente a commencée le Mercredi 27 Mars 1737. [Second drop-title]: Reprise de la Vente des Tableaux de Madame de Verrue le 29 Avril 1737.
[Manuscript drop-titles]: Catalogue des Tableaux de Madame la Comtesse de Verrue dont la Vente a commencée le Mercredi 27 Mars 1737. [Second drop-title]: Reprise de la Vente des Tableaux de Madame de Verrue le 29 Avril 1737.

The Verrue Painting Collection, in Manuscript

[Manuscript drop-titles]: Catalogue des Tableaux de Madame la Comtesse de Verrue dont la Vente a commencée le Mercredi 27 Mars 1737. [Second drop-title]: Reprise de la Vente des Tableaux de Madame de Verrue le 29 Avril 1737.

20 pp. 8vo, 19th-century brown half-cloth & marbled boards (spine a trifle rubbed), title on spine, spine gilt. [S.l.: 1737].

One of the very rare contemporary manuscript sale catalogues of the painting collection of the comtesse de Verrue (1670-1736), one of history’s greatest collectors of art as well as books. It is annotated with nearly all prices and a few buyers’ names. According to Lugt, there are no known printed catalogues of this sale of paintings — most likely never printed — and the Getty Provenance Index records 14 extant manuscript copies, all in institutional libraries, except this example.

“Verrue, may be best known today as Alexandre Dumas’s fictive dame volupté, a sobriquet she reputedly created and one that has too easily obscured her crucial role in the art world of early eighteenth-century Paris. She had the social confidence to renounce the traditional pattern of collecting that Crozat had eagerly embraced and turned from ‘serious’ Italian paintings to ‘petits sujets,’ bucolic landscapes, and amorous mythologies, primarily by painters of the Northern and French schools. Like Crozat, she shaped a remarkable and widely admired dwelling that was central to her identity and famous during her lifetime. The importance of each house was enhanced by the way it functioned. Each became a key site of artistic discourse, a place where art lovers and artists assembled, and a locus for assessing competing systems of value, where distinctive outlooks were forged, defined, and absorbed.”–Rochelle Ziskin, Sheltering Art (2012), p. 2.

This catalogue records both days of the sale — 27 March (15 vacations) and 29 April (9 vacations) — and describes the first day’s 113 lots of paintings and the second’s 66 lots of mostly paintings, both held at Verrue’s residence on the rue du Cherche-Midi. For most of the items, a contemporary annotator has added prices. The comtesse de Verrue’s collection of paintings featured works by van Dyck, Teniers, Poelenburgh, Lorrain, Oudry, Rembrandt, Rubens, Lancret, Nattier, Watteau, Le Lorrain, Wouwerman, Bril, Correggio, etc. The ninth and final vacation of the second day consisted of the unsold artworks.

Additional notes show us that buyers at this sale included great collectors and dealers both French and foreign, such as Blondel de Gagny, “Godefroy pour l’Angleterre,” Lockie, Morin, the duc de Chevreuse, Julliot, Ruel, the comte de Clermont, M. de Ravanne, “à Dresde,” etc. Also noted are the bought-in lots. Finally, the annotator has written amusing observations: “peu de valeur,” “copies,” “prix fou,” “très beau,” “fort beau,” “touffu,” etc. A later manuscript note has been appended at the very end of the sale mentioning that two paintings had been purchased by Randon de Boisset and then sold in 1777.

An exceptionally rare document detailing the intrepid connoisseurship of one of the great early female collectors. Engraved bookplate of Georges Pannier (1853-1944), a Parisian art dealer, on the front paste-down. Pannier has also written in red pen above the bookplate that he purchased this volume at the sale of the art historian Edmond Bonnaffé in 1904. Stamp of the Bibliothèque Heim on first leaf.

❧ Lugt 470. “Her long-term preference for Netherlandish art countered that of contemporary collectors (e.g., Pierre Crozat and Pierre Jean Mariette) and dealers (e.g., Gersaint), who favored the Italians. Furthermore, Verrue’s enthusiasm for particular subjects of genres (e.g., landscapes and scenes of everyday life) anticipated their later popularity; that she acquired these works at a fraction of their later market value is further indication that she was in the vanguard of contemporary taste. Verrue’s knowledge of Netherlandish art (which was instrumental in the formation of the goût moderne), and its predominance in her collection, suggests that rather than merely following the newest artistic trend of her day, she may actually have had a greater role in shaping it.”–Cynthia Lawrence & Magdalena Kasman, “Jeanne-Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, Comtesse de Verrue: An Art Collector in Eighteenth-Century Paris,” in Women and Art in Early Modern Europe: Patrons, Collector, and Connoisseurs, ed. C. Lawrence (1997), p. 211.

Price: $12,500.00

Item ID: 6499