Large still life with goldsmith's elements by Meiffren Conte, a 17th-century French painter.
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 103 x 81 cm
Meiffren Conte (or Comte, also known as Ephren Leconte), from an old Marseilles family, trained in Aix in the studio of his German-born brother-in-law Rodolphe Ziegler. Ziegler, who settled in the Provencal capital in 1653, was involved in decorating aristocratic residences. Meiffren also seems to have completed his training in Rome, where he was influenced by the paintings of Francesco Fievarino. He worked in several pictorial genres (history, portraiture), but quickly gained recognition for his still lifes.
He lived in Paris between 1671 and 1675. He mainly frequented the milieu of artists and craftsmen employed at the royal Gobelins factory. There, in contact with the excellence of French taste, he was able to contemplate all the marvels that would later find their way into his work. Back in Marseille, he was appointed master painter to the King's galleys, a position he held until 1693. He taught drawing to the officers and decorated the ships' parade chambers. He was succeeded in this position by Michel Serre, of whom the Musée de Toulon owns two paintings and who is famous for his depictions of the plague of 1720.