Still life, on a table a vase in sculpted alabaster, a basket of flowers with roses and tulips, two books, two cups, a drawing board
Signed, lower left : "Prévost le Jeune", gouache on paper, 18,5 x 26,2 cm
- Versailles, Hôtel Rameau, 27 june 1968, lot 446
- Private collection until April 2021
Studying botanical illustration at the Manufacture Royale de Sèvres from 1754 to 1762 allowed three Prévost – Jean-Jacques, Guillaume and Jean-Louis – sons of a winegrower from Nointel in the Val-d’Oise, to distinguish themselves through their participation, individually or together, in important late-eighteenth century undertakings in the art of gardens. These include illustrating the collection of plants in the garden of the Château de La Celle-Saint-Cloud (volume of illustrations held in the French National Library) and at Trianon (drawings that to date remain unlocated), scientific participation in the Lapérouse Expedition, and a career as a well-known flower painter. The study of the family and the professional lives of the various members of this sibling group will enable us to discover a whole body of iconographic achievements. The diversity of these productions, realized in accordance with commissions (from garden owners, porcelain manufacturers, embroiderers and flower painters in search of new models) testifies to the existence of new plants acclimatized in the gardens of the collectors or drawn during scientific expeditions.
Jean Louis Prévost was part of a large and highly skilled family of artists, however the standard of his work, both painted and drawn, was of such quality that he soon established himself, alongside Pierre Joseph Redouté, as the leading botanical artist of his generation in France.
His exquisite paintings were highly sought after in the second half of the eighteenth century. Examples of his work were then to be found in the great collections of the day, including those of the Prince de Conti, the Marquis de Livois, the Marquise de Langeac, and the financiers Nicolas Beaujon, Augustin Blondel de Gagny and Alexis Janvier La Live de la Briche. The Cabinet des Estampes at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris preserves a set of more than forty gouaches by Prévost le jeune depicting the various ornamental uses of flowers.
In 1776, the expert Jean-Baptiste Le Brun wrote about the Prevost in the Almanach historique et raisonné des peintres: "Les fleurs, les oiseaux et les fruits de Messieurs Prevost ont attiré tous les yeux et étaient précieusement peints. Encore un peu d’application et ils seront les Van-Huysum de France".
3 800 €