France, second half of the 18th century
Attributed to Thomas Compigné
Pewter, gold, silver, gouache, colored varnishes
This small medallion, in pewter leaf embossed and enhanced with gold, gouache and colored varnishes, depicts a landscape scene. In the foreground on the left, a tree with undulating forms dominates the composition. At the foot of the tree, sits a couple near a stream. They overlook slightly a second couple standing, accompanied by a child, led on the right by a seated man. The river, which extends on the background is the frame of different activities. On the background, on the right, two characters on a bark thus dock to the rim while the composition is overlooked behind by an impressive paddlewheel mill which different details are subtlety created by the micro-etching of the pewter and enhanced with gold. A second mansion behind the mill can be seen, with a large roof enhanced with blued silver. Two characters on the rime give way in the foreground to the silhouette of a village dominated by a bell tower. The sky unfolds in a pink background and then turns blue and cloudy.
Paintings in Compigné
Of great preciousity and variety of materials, the paintings in Compigné were made according to a mysterious process starting from a sheet of cardboard or tortoiseshell to which a pewter or gold leaf was applied. The surface could then be decorated with gold, silver, gouache and coloured varnishes. These “miniatures”, known today under the name of Compigné, had a great success in the 1760s.The small format, characteristic of this production, required to work in extreme precision, probably with the help of a magnifying glass, to develop the perfection of these technical details and colors.
Arrived from Italy, probably around 1750, Thomas Compigni took the name Compigné when he settled under the sign of Roi David, rue Greneta, in Paris. As an ivory turner, he specialised in the manufacture and sale of boxes, knitting sets, draughts and chess sets, snuffboxes and other cane handles of blond tortoiseshell inlaid with gold. Renowned for the quality of his
objects, he passed on to posterity through the production of precious paintings whose technique remains mysterious today. In 1773, he presented two views of the Château de Saint-Hubert to the King and obtained the title of “tabletier privilégié du Roi” under Louis XV and Louis XVI. His themes of predilection are most often views of towns, monuments and castles from the perspective of parks or landscapes animated by small characters.
Plaisir de France, « Les Compignés et leurs créateurs, ces délicats chefs-d’œuvre de la tabletterie au XVIIIe siècle », n° 427, mars 1975.
Compigné, peintre et tabletier du Roy, catalogue d’exposition, Grasse, Villa-Musée Jean- Honoré Fragonard, Juin-Juillet 1991.
12 500 €
15 000 €
3 800 €