Offered by Galerie Barnabé
Old Master Paintings
Bon BOULLOGNE (Paris, 1649 – id., 1717), circa 1710
Jupiter orders Mercury to prepare for Paris' Judgement
Oil on canvas, H. 84 cm ; L. 99 cm.
The painting we are presenting is exceptional in that it belongs to the final phase of the production of the academic-painter Bon Boullogne (Paris, 1649 - id., 1717). While it is true that Bon Boullogne's reputation for pastiches tends to blur our perception of his style, we can follow the main stages of his artistic career.
Bon Boullogne's career culminated in the early 1700s when he decorated the chapels of Saint-Ambroise and Saint-Jérôme in the Église royale des Invalides. From 1708 onwards, he was again commissioned to paint a series of apostles in the galleries of the Royal Chapel at the Château de Versailles.
The final phase of Bon Boullogne's production, from 1705 (i.e. the day after his participation in the Salon of 1704) to 1717, remains enigmatic.
The four mythological paintings commissioned from Bon Boullogne by the Count of Toulouse for the King's bedroom in Rambouillet (all now in the Musée de Beaux-arts in Tours), painted around 1707-1710, confirm the dating of our painting. The hypothesis is plausible, as the difference with this neighbouring production of 1710 is obvious. Perhaps the most remarkable element is the darkening of the palette, the darkened sky giving the works a dramatic aspect.
Bon Boullogne himself had depicted the scene of the "Judgement of Paris"; this was certainly the painting he exhibited at the Salon of 1704 and which was to precede ours.