French School of the XVIIth century attributed to the workshop of Laurent de la Hyre (1606-1656)
Oil on oak panel 27 cm by 21.5 cm
Old frame of 45 cm by 39.5 cm
Our painting, very beautiful bill, is formerly considered the representation of Cephalus and Procris (During a hunting game Céphale killed by mistake his wife who was hiding behind a bush). I'm thinking of Daphne and Appolon
Indeed, the angle of the arrow proves that it was unchecked by Cupid and not by Cephalus, more the latter hunted with a javelin.
Apollo and Daphne.
Apollo had made fun of Cupid and his bow. The latter, vexed and for revenge, draws two arrows from his quiver, one has the power to drive out love, the other to bring it to birth.
From the first arrow, Cupid reaches Daphne the huntress. (what can be observed) The other then touch Apollo in the heart that fell then in love.
Lawrence of the Hyre (1606-0656)
French painter of the beginnings of classicism. Laurent de La Hyre was first trained in a Mannerist milieu: his apprenticeship was done in Fontainebleau in front of the works of Rosso and Primatice (he is one of those who will never go to Rome), then in Paris in Paris. Georges Lallemant's workshop. We notice her first religious paintings that earned her commissions for Notre-Dame and for Richelieu's palace. It is influenced by Caravaggesque luminism and Baroque dynamism, in contact with French painters who returned from Rome around 1625-1630 (Vouet and Blanchard). He will keep a certain taste for composition with strong obliques, as evidenced by his ultimate Descent from the Cross (1655, Rouen Museum). Yet it is towards pure lines that he evolves, probably because of the lesson of Poussin, even before the temporary return of it in France (1640-1642). Such a search for a measured art, full of sobriety, has more evidence in his easel paintings (while large religious compositions keep a more expressionistic vein). The construction of these kinds of landscapes (actually subjects of mythological or biblical history) is calmer and shows a real sensitivity of painter facing an atmosphere. The traditional elements of classical vocabulary (capitals, broken-drum columns) are assimilated by nature. The light of Ile-de-France bathes these delicate works and a little austere of a pale glow, a little melancholy like the paintings of Claude Lorrain. Jacques Thuillier sees in it the trace of a current that takes a deep interest in the landscape as an expression of an element where beings and objects evolve and which ends up becoming a source of emotion. The Hyre knew during his lifetime the celebrity that earned him to be in 1648 among the twelve founding members of the Royal Academy of Painting
It illustrates a classicism both scholarly (perspective), sensitive (light color, light), a poetry where antiquity is a source of meditation and imagination.