From the Library of Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers
Musée Central des Arts. Notice des Tableaux des Ecoles française et flamande, Exposés dans la grande Galerie, Dont l’ouverture a eu lieu le 18 Germinal an VII [7 April 1799]; et des Ecoles de Lombardie et de Bologne, dont l’exposition a eu lieu le 25 Messidor an IX [14 July 1801].
1 p.l., ii, 152 pp. 12mo (153 x 100 mm.), cont. pink paste-paper boards (spine sunned), green morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: L’Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, [?1801].
The second printing of this exhibition livret, describing 945 works (the first printing recorded only 944 works). This copy was bound for Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers (1779-1857), premier Graveur du Roi. The present catalogue combines the contents of two great exhibitions, the first of French and Flemish pictures, the other consisting of Italian paintings looted from Lombardy and Bologna. Both were held in the grande Galerie of the Musée central des Arts (now the Louvre). As explained in the Avertissement, the artworks from the exhibitions were joined in the present livret to avoid forcing “la classe le moins fortunée” to buy two separate catalogues.
The exhibitions presented an impressive array of artists from the three schools, such as Boullogne, S. Bourdon, C. Le Brun, Chardin, N. Coypel, Largillière, Parrocel, Poussin, C. Vanloo, Vernet, N. Berchem, Cuyp, Dou, Dürer, van Dyck, van Goyen, Holbein, Dujardin, Jordaens, Metsu, Matsys, A. & I. van Ostade, Potter, Rembrandt, Rubens, Ruysdael, Teniers, Wouwerman, Wijnants, An. & L. Carracci, Caravaggio, Domenichino, Guercino, Schedoni, Veronese, da Vinci, del Piombo, etc. The Mona Lisa is number 923.
The majority of entries are thoroughly described, and the compilers have often added valuable biographical information. This was at a time when scholarship of Italian art was sorely underdeveloped, and the French were finally able to conduct foundational research, thanks to the concentration of paintings culled from French national collections and those seized in Italy.
Very good copy with an interesting provenance. Sporadic and inoffensive spotting and a small tear just touching the text on leaf B6. From the library of Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers, one of the great engravers of his time (see Lugt Marques, 101 & 102).
❧ Marquet de Vasselot, Répertoire des catalogues du Musée du Louvre (1793-1926) (1927), 115. See also N. Etienne, ed., The Restoration of Paintings in Paris, 1750-1815 (2017), pp. 210-11, for more on the restoration of paintings described here.
Item ID: 6779