[MONNOYER], Jean Baptiste (1636-1699)
[Still-life of flowers in a vase]
[Paris]: N. De Poilly, [no date but circa 1700?]. Etching and engraving, coloured by hand, by J. Baptiste Monnoyer. Expertly executed repairs to both bottom corners. Image size (including text): 18 7/8 x 14 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 20 5/8 x 15 1/2 inches.
A delightful composition from one of the great early figures in French botanical art: the strong lines of the vase contrasting with the apparently informal arrangment of the flowers.
A beautiful image with the arrangment of flowers including galdioli, tulips, anemones, a poppy, an auricula and a spray of apple blossom, the vase is decorated with a classical baccanalian scene: the dancing satyr and nymph emphasizing the strong sense of movement and life in the composition. Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer set a style of decorative flower painting for the adornment of great French residences including Versailles. Born in Lille in 1636, he began his artistic career in Anvers as a student of Davidsz de Heem. Briefly painting historical scenes, Monnoyer quickly turned to the painting of flowers and fruit for which he is most famous. In 1655 he moved to Paris where he found favor amongst the French aristocracy and was employed to paint murals in many of the Royal chateaux including Vincennes, Saint Cloud, Versailles, le Grand Trianon and Marly. While in France, Monnoyer drew cartoons for tapestries for Gobelins and also engraved several prints of vases of flowers. He became a member of the Academy in 1663. In 1685 Monnoyer accepted an invitation given by the English Ambassador to France, Lord Montague, to decorate Montague House. While in London he also worked for Marie II and Queen Anne at Kensington House. Monnoyer died in London in 1699.
Cf. Dunthorne p.224.