Damien Leclere /Oct 20, 2007
€60,000.00 - €80,000.00
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Artworks in Arcadja11
Some works of Jacques, Le Jeune SabletExtracted between 11 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Apr 22, 2005 - LondonLot number: 126
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Jacques Sablet (Morges 1749-1803 Paris) La Tarantelle: An evening coastal landscape with Neapolitanpeasants dancing the Tarantella oil on canvas, unlined 61 x 83½ in. (154.9 x 212.1 cm.) inventory number 'No 665.d.C.' (painted in black on thereverse) in the original French carved and gilt-composition frame Provenance Cardinal Joseph Fesch, by whom acquired from the artist in 1802,for 6000 francs (see J.B. Vanel, 'Deux livres de comptes ducardinal Fesch', Bulletin historique du diocèse de Lyon, January1929, p. 76, no. 1); (+) sale, Rome, 26 March 1844 ff., lot820. Private collection, Portugal. Literature Salon,'Arlequin au Muséum ou les Tableaux en vaudeville', Coll.Deloynes, 1799, XXI, pp. 109-110, no. 561. 'La Revue du Muséum', Coll. Deloynes, 1799, XXI, p. 159, no.562. 'Exposition de tableaux au Salon du Louvre. Journal d'indications',Coll. Deloynes, 1799, XXI, pp. 361-362, no. 579. 'Exposition des ouvrages de peinture...insérée dans le Journal dela Décade par le C.Chaussard', Coll. Deloynes, 1799, XXI, pp.455-456, no. 580. 25 fructidor/11 septembre, 1799, Journal des Arts, de littératureet de commerce, p. 2, no. 11'. J.B. Vanel, 'Deux livres de comptes du cardinal Fesch, archevêquede Lyon', Bulletin historique du diocèse de Lyon, 1802, January1923, p. 76, no. 1 ('la Tarentelle de Sablet 6.000 fr.'). 7 vendémiaire/30 septembre, 1803, Arch. nat., Minutier central,Etude LXIX, 870, Inventaire J. Sablet, 23 fructidor an XI/10September, folio 19 (tableau appartenant à Lucien Bonaparte, 'LaTarentaine'). Fiorillo, Geschichte der Künste..., 1805, II, p. 520. (George), Catalogue des tableaux composant la Galerie de feu sonéminence le cardinal Fesch, 1841, Rome, no. 1751 ('Une fête dematelots'). 26 mars ff, Rome, vente du cardinal Fesch, 1844, no. 820 ('Une fêtenapolitaine'). A. van de Sandt, Jacques Sablet (1749-1803). Biographie etcatalogue raisonné, Université de Paris IV - Sorbonne, 1983, no. X.29, as 'localisation inconnue'. Exhibited Paris, Salon, 1799, no. 280 ('Un tableau représentant laTarentelle, danse napolitaine. Larg. 2m., haut. 1m 30c.'). Lot Notes We are grateful to Anne van de Sandt for confirming theattribution on the basis of colour transparencies and for herinvaluable assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. Exhibited inthe 1799 Paris Salon, and in the collection of Cardinal JosephFesch until his death in 1844, the whereabouts of this monumentalpicture have been unknown since then until its rediscovery in aprivate collection last year. Described by van de Sandt (loc. cit.), as 'certainement l'un deschefs-d'oeuvre de Jacques Sablet', the picture depicts an idyllicscene of Neapolitan peasants dancing the Tarantella before aharbour with a castle reminiscent of the Castel Nuovo, Naples,above and beyond the fortress of Gaeta (kindly identified by Ugo diGropello). The Tarantella was a lively dance, performed to theaccompaniment of tambourines, a guitar, or sometimes, as here, alute. It is commonly believed to be named after the tarantulaspider which was (incorrectly) thought to cause tarantism, a formof hysteria that was at one time endemic to the southern Italiantown of Taranto, and the cure for which was thought to involve wilddancing. The same dance is surely being performed in Sablet's Dansenapolitaine, (99 x 137 cm.), commissioned by Gustav III of Swedenin 1784 (now at Drottningholm Castle, Sweden), from whichcomposition the three main groups of musicians to the right in thepresent work, the dancing couple in the centre, and the drinkingcouple to the left, have clearly evolved. Jacques-Henri Sablet was born in Morges in the Swiss Vaud in 1749.Thanks to a grant from the State of Berne, he was able to go toItaly and in 1778 received a first prize for a Death of Pallas atthe concorso of the Academy of Parma. He was soon however toabandon history painting for informal portraits and genre scenes,where he displayed strong sensibilité, no doubt inspired by thewritings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Salomon Gessner. Hecollaborated with Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros on the publicationof a series of Italian costumes in aquatint, providing the drawingsfrom which Ducros made the plates, and himself executed in 1786 aseries of etchings of popular characters (see van de Sandt, op.cit., pp. 100-113). Such pictures as the Drottningholm Dansenapolitaine, and to a greater extent, the masterly Colin-maillard(exhibited in the Salon of 1796, and now in the musée cantonal desBeaux-Arts, Lausanne, see fig. 1) as well as the present work, withtheir lifelike expression, luminosity and vivacious colouring, showSablet's interest in the newly-developing taste for suchsubjects. Such works, as well his ability to paint portraits, caught theattention of some of the foremost collectors and patrons of theday, including François Cacault, Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Caninoas well as the latter's uncle Cardinal Joseph Fesch. Van de Sandt(op. cit, no. X-29) notes that this picture was presumably LaTarentaine in the posthumous inventory of 1803 of pictures inSablet's atelier, then listed as belonging to Lucien Bonaparte (seelit.) If so, perhaps Lucien had been acting for his uncle, as it iscertain that the picture had in fact been acquired by Fesch in 1802for the then enormous sum of 6000 francs and that it also figuredin the posthmous sale of his collection in Rome in 1844. Cardinal Joseph Fesch (Ajaccio, Corsica 1763-Rome 1839), was ofSwiss-Corsican origin. The half-brother of Letizia RamolinoBonaparte (1750-1836), mother of the future Emperor Napoleon I, heformed, between about 1796 and his death in 1839, one of thelargest private collections of paintings of the early 19th Century.His Roman residence was the Palazzo Falconieri in the Via Giulia,where he displayed many of his finest pieces, but he also rentedother dwellings in which he stored the rest of his huge collection.Among the nearly 16,000 works which were recorded in his posthumousinventory, were many masterpieces, including Giotto's Dormition ofthe Virgin, Fra Angelico's Last Judgement, and Rembrandt'sPreaching of John the Baptist (all Berlin, Gemäldegalerie);Poussin's Dance to the Music of Time (London, Wallace Collection),Mantegna's Agony in the Garden and a Raphael Crucifixion (London,National Gallery, see D. Thiébaut, The Dictionary of Art, 1996, pp.31-2). He was also an avid collector of Neapolitan still lifes, aswell as the work of many other Italian 17th and 18th Centuryartists. He showed little interest in 18th Century French painting.As well as the present picture, Fesch also owned Sablet'sColin-maillard. Upon his death, the collection was left in part tothe Institut des Etudes, Ajaccio, that he had founded (now mostlyMusée Fesch, Ajaccio); most of the rest (including the present lot)was sold off at auction in Rome between 1843 and 1845. La Tarantelle was exhibited in the 1799 Salon generally to muchacclaim. Chaussard (loc. cit.) noted: '...Toujours grand peintredans la scène familière et animée. Au fond du tableau la mer. Surle devant des groupes, qui vont, qui viennent, se croisent, sequittent, se reprennent. Ils dansent véritabalement et leur joieest bruyante... Les peintres n'obtiennent cet effet qu'en forçanten gris les derniers plans. Ici tout est argentin et clair; lalumière est répandue avec profusion. Qu'elle est donc cette magieet par quel secret de l'art...? C'est celui de Sablet, il l'a gardépour lui seul. Comme il est supérieur à Vateau [sic]. La manière deVateau était monotone et de convention; celle de Sablet esttoujours brillante et vraie'. The 1844 sale catalogue is morepositive pointing to the variety in the depiction of the figuresand the majesty of the setting: 'La diversité d'action entre lesdifférens groupes donne à cette composition un charme et unagrément que la variété des costumes et l'aspect grandiose du sitene fait qu'accrôitre encore...'
Auction: Sotheby's -Jan 22, 2004 - New YorkLot number: 245
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CATALOGUE NOTE We are grateful to Anne van de Sandt who, based on photographs, confirms the present painting to be a sketch for the Death of Pallas for which Jacques Sablet received a first prize in the Concours de Parme on June 8, 1778. The Concours de Parme was created in 1752 and like the Prix de Rome, took its themes from history and mythology. The subject of the present painting, for example, is taken from Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid , Book X: 495-449. The Concours was open to all artists, however, most of the participants were students at the Académie de Saint Luc and the Académie de France in Rome. The present sketch is related to another sketch, formerly with Galerie Cailleux (see Les Etapes de la Création Esquisses et Dessins de Boucher à Isabey , exhibition catalogue, Galerie Cailleux, Paris, June 12-July 13, 1989, cat. no. 52, illustrated).
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Jacques, Le Jeune Sablet - Portrait Du Comte Et De La Comtesse De La Roche Saint André Et Leur Fille.
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Auction: Sotheby's -Jun 19, 2006 - ParisLot number: 115
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