PHILIPPE MERCIER - LOVERS BY CANDLELIGHTRegular price €0 Save €0
PHILIPPE MERCIER (1689-1760)
LOVERS BY CANDLELIGHT
oil on canvas
76 x 64 cm (30⅛ x 23¼ in)
Cary Charles Collection, London (Possibly);
Mr. Langford and Son, Auction BR-A744, Lot 3,
Phillipe Mercier - A boy and girl by candlelight,
12-13 Mar 1766 (Possibly);
Owned by the same family for more than
70 years and then sold at Sothebys
Old Master Day Sale L19037, Lot 184.
A YOUNG GIRL READING BY CANDLELIGHT
76.8 x 64 cm, signed PM
Sold: 120.000 USD (incl buyers premium)
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The resting hands of the girl painted with swift brushstrokes and subtle shifts of lights and shadow.
The Music Party, painted by Mercier during his time as a favorite with the prince in 1733. By courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, London.
It is bewildering to think that Lovers by Candlelight is by the hand of an artist that was previously known for painting in the grand style of royal portraiture. The faint light in the midst of evening darkness, the intimate interaction between the unassuming girl and the tenderly curious boy and complete lack of any glamorous or fanciful elements that were to so typical for his earlier production indicates an artist with a changed perspective – and perhaps even a deepened insight. Overall, the scene shows that seemingly innocent domestic scenes are in fact traces of a new sensitivity and interest in the intimate, the personal and the private. Despite the slightly idealized faces and neat composition, this painting is far from a onenote sentimental scene. Instead, it reflects a heightened presence into portraying human interaction that still, after more than two hundred and fifty years, enables us to connect with the eye and experience of the 18th century.
The sewing basked further emphasize the domestic character of the scene.
Waterhouse, Sir Ellis. "English Painting and France in the Eighteenth Century." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 15 (1952): 127-128.
Raines, Robert and John Ingamells. Philip Mercier 1689-1760.
Exh. cat. City Art Gallery, York; Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood,
London. London, 1969.
Ingamells, John and Robert Raines.
"A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Etchings of Philip Mercier."
Walpole Society 46 (1978): 1-70.
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries.
The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue.
Washington, D.C., 1992: 168-169.