Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)
|Artist Name||Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)|
|Title||The Apotheosis of James I|
|Description||This stunning religious 18th century Old Master oil painting with fantastic provenance was formerly attributed to Jean-Antoine Watteau and latterly to Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723). It is after the central compartment of Rubens' ceiling in the Main Banqueting Hall, Banqueting House, Whitehall. James I believed he was answerable to God alone. Here he is being carried on the wings of a huge eagle to the seat of God. Female figures of Piety and Religion accompany his ascent. Above him awaits the triumphal crown, carried by the classical goddess Minerva and a woman representing Victory. Apotheosis is the transformation from human to divine. A stunning religious Old Master oil painting painted circa 1715 with considerable detail and charm. Its former owner, 'Teddy' Croft Murray was the former keeper of prints and drawing at the British Museum, antiquarian and internationally acknowledged expert on early European art and music. He had also served among the 'Monuments men' during the Second World War and written numerous books on art. After his death his wife kept the collection together for a further 40 years.|
|Provenance||Jack Gold, Richmond;
Christie's, London, 29 July 1971, lot 54 (as Watteau after Rubens)
From the collection of Edward Croft-Murray (1907-1980), former keeper of prints and drawing at the British Museum, antiquarian and internationally acknowledged expert on early European art and music.
J. Mathey, Antoine Watteau, Peintures Réapparues, (1959), p.36, pl.82;
J. Mathey, 'The early paintings of Watteau', in The Art Quarterly (Spring 1956), p.22;
F. J. B. Watson, 'Watteau, Peintre Inconnu', in The Burlington Magazine (March 1962), p.162 (reproduced)
After the central compartment of Rubens' ceiling in the Main Banqueting Hall, Banqueting House, Whitehall. This work was previously considered to be by Antoine Watteau.
|Medium||Oil on Canvas|
|Size||22 x 30 inches|
|Frame||Housed in a carved gilt period frame, 37 inches by 29 inches framed and in good condition.|
|Biography||Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684 - 1721) was a French painter and draughtsman whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical, Rococo. Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes, scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with a theatrical air. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.