View of an antique-style port. Two ships are beached on a sandbank. In the background, two towers overlook the landscape. Several boats are anchored in the channel framed by quays, from which figures are chatting. The quay on the left features a ruined temple with Corinthian columns.
Oil on canvas
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Lallemand
Restoration, modern gilded wood frame, foxed, modern chassîs
H.44 x W. 52 (with frame)
H. 31.5 x W. 39.5 cm (when viewed)
In our painting, we find a treatment of light and composition typical of Jean-Baptiste Lallemand (1716-1803): a falling day with a few clouds, buildings to the side, and a body of water in the background.
We can cite the Lallemand canvas sold at Lewes (U.K.) on 06/28/22, lot no. 365, or the one sold at Thierry de Maigret on 03/25/22, lot no. 28.
Nothing destined Jean-Baptiste Lallemand for a career as a painter. However, his father, a Dijon tailor, didn't encourage his passion for drawing, as he wanted to involve his son in the family business. Nevertheless, an opportunity offered by one of his father's customers enabled him to make a name for himself. After joining the Guilde de Saint Luc, Jean-Baptiste Lallemand left for Rome in 1747, where he spent two years immersing himself in the Italian arts, which had a lasting influence on his work.
Lallemand particularly enjoyed using the capriccio, or architectural caprice, on many of his canvases. As ancient sites were rediscovered, representations of them, in both portraiture and landscape, multiplied. But capriccio represents a new approach to heritage. More than just a fantasized representation of these ruins, the capriccio is an invitation to reflect on the ephemeral nature of art, which requires conservation care if it is to endure. The depiction of people in great conversation in front of these ruins, as on our canvas, is a classic capriccio, symbolizing the questioning of time and ephemerality raised by these ruins.