Offered by Galerie Thierry Matranga
Old paintings, religious artifacts, archeology
Oil on panel. French school around 1700, workshop of Nicolas Bertin.
Among the many metamorphoses that Jupiter undertook to seduce new conquests, his transformation into a swan to approach the beautiful Leda is probably the subject most prized by artists. In ancient Greece and Rome, frescoes, mosaics and sculptures representing the scene abound. With the Renaissance and the renewed interest in mythology, artists, first and foremost Leonardo da Vinci, take up this theme again. The Tuscan genius produced two versions (now lost and of which only sketches or copies remain). Michelangelo, Correggio and Veronese were not to be outdone and gave their personal interpretation of this episode.
While Leda, wife of the king of Sparta, is bathing in the river Euratos, the bank of which can be seen on our composition, Jupiter's desire is born. To approach her, he elaborates a ruse and asks Venus to change into an eagle and to pursue him, himself metamorphosed into a swan. Leda then opens her arms to welcome the poor frightened swan, this is the moment that our painter has seized. Jupiter will take advantage of the embrace and four children will be born from this union, including the heroes Castor and Pollux, and the famous Helen, the motive for the Trojan War.
Nicolas Bertin, through this work produced by his workshop, shows all his talent to paint the beauty and femininity of this queen who, accompanied by Cupid, will have her moment of ecstasy. The softness of Leda's face and her graceful undulating body are the reflection of a classical tradition marked by a Nordic contribution of which Bertin is the heir.
We have chosen to present this delicate painting in a carved and gilded wooden frame with leaves and flowers from the Louis XIII period.
Dimensions : 25 x 20 cm - 39 x 33,5 cm with the frame
Biography : Nicolas Bertin (Paris 1667 - id. 1736) was introduced to painting by Guy Louis Vernansal and continued his training with Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet and Bon Boullogne. Protected by the all powerful superintendent of the Buildings Arts and Manufactures of France, the Marquis de Louvois, he was soon employed at Versailles. After winning the Prix de Rome in 1685, he stayed in the Eternal City until 1689, then returned to Paris where his career does not seem to have been compromised by the death of his protector. He worked for the Menagerie (1701), the Trianon (Vertumne and Pomona, 1706, in place) and the Château de Meudon (c. 1709). He was admitted to the Académie in 1703 (Hercules Delivering Prometheus, Louvre), and worked for German princes or French private individuals, to whom he usually delivered small paintings with elaborate colors. Works by Nicolas Bertin are kept in the greatest museums in the world: the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
- LEFRANCOIS Thierry, Nicolas Bertin 1668 -1736, Arthena 1981.
- MILOVANOVIC Nicolas, Catalogue des peintures française du XVIIe siècle du Musée du Louvre, Louvre Editions 2021
- BAJOU Thierry, La Peinture à Versailles XVIIe siècle, RMN Buchet/Chastel 1998
9 000 €