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Pierre Duval Lecamus (1790-1854) Young chimney sweep sitting in the snow
Pierre Duval Lecamus (1790-1854) Young chimney sweep sitting in the snow - Paintings & Drawings Style Restauration - Charles X
Ref : 98427
6 800 €
Period :
19th century
Artist :
Pierre Duval Lecamus (1790-1854)
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
L. 8.46 inch X l. 6.5 inch
Galerie de Frise

Ancient portrait painting

+33 (0)6 77 36 95 10
Pierre Duval Lecamus (1790-1854) Young chimney sweep sitting in the snow

(Lisieux 1790 - Saint-Cloud 1854)
Little chimney sweep sitting in the snow
Oil on canvas
H. 21,5 cm ; L. 16,5 cm
Circa 1819

Exhibition: most probably at the 1822 Lille Salon, under the number 175, titled A little Savoyard eating his bread

Related works:
- Copy made in 1824 and kept in the castle of Daubeuf until 2013
- Painting exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1824, number 620, titled A little Savoyard, and acquired by the Duchess of Berry. The composition also represents a little Savoyard eating his bread, but standing.

A student of Claude Gautherot and Jacques-Louis David from 1808 onwards, Duval Lecamus was one of the main representatives of the genre scene under the Restoration and the July Monarchy, exhibiting successfully without interruption at the Salons from 1817 to 1853, not only in Paris but also in many other provinces. His meticulous and refined workmanship, inspired by the Nordic artists of the XVIIth century, corresponds perfectly to the tastes of the Duchess of Berry and the Duke of Orleans (future Louis-Philippe), and places him in the same sphere as artists such as Boilly, Drolling, Grenier de Saint-Martin, Mallet, Roehn, Haudebourg-Lescot or Pingret.
A relatively common practice among artists, he had added to his name (Duval), and this from 1817, that of his wife (married in 1813), who belonged to a much higher milieu than his own, in order to open doors in terms of clientele, but also to avoid confusion with another painter, Eustache-François Duval (1760-1836). Founder of the museum of Lisieux and for a time mayor of Saint-Cloud where he spent the end of his life, he had a son, Jules-Alexandre (1814-1878), who also made a fine career as a painter.
His works can be found in many French museums, but also in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, or in the Clark Art Institute (USA).

Pierre Duval Lecamus had two specialties:
- Full-length portraits of elegant models, with a landscape background, small format and brilliant and refined execution.
- The genre scenes, interior or of peasant and popular inspiration (peasants, hunters, sailors...), just as precise in their execution.
It is to this last category that our painting belongs, and in particular to the theme of the little Savoyard chimney sweeps, which Duval Lecamus treated on many occasions at the beginning of his career, and to which Jessica Volet, a specialist of the artist, has devoted a detailed article.
The work can be associated with the one in the Narbonne museum, titled A Little Chimney Sweep, of almost identical dimensions and also unsigned, which can be dated to 1818/1819, the composition being indeed faithfully described in an 1819 inventory of the dealer Alphonse Giroux.
The Narbonne painting and ours were copied by the Marquise Georgine de Portes, copies offered on December 24, 1824 to her uncle Marquis d'Aligre, owner of the Château de Daubeuf in Seine-Maritime, and kept there until the sale of the château's furniture in 2013. The copies are of the same dimensions as the originals. One (probably the Narbonne copy) is dated 1820; the other (probably ours) is dated 1824.
Our painting could therefore have been executed at the same period (1818/1819) as the little chimney sweep from Narbonne (especially since, like him, it is neither signed nor dated). But it could also have been made around 1822, at the time of its probable exhibition in Lille. However, we cannot totally exclude that the painting in Lille is the same as the one exhibited in Paris in 1824 and acquired by the Duchess of Berry.

Our painting is at the same time a portrait, a genre scene and a social image. The young chimney sweep seems indeed to be photographed by the artist and in interaction with the spectator who would have "fallen" on him at the corner of a street, meeting naturally his glance a little sad but dignified the time of a few seconds; he takes advantage of a moment of pause to taste his piece of bread, the movement of the cutting being particularly right; the artist details the utensils of his activity: the broom, the soot scraper, the cap, the leather kneepads to move in the chimney flues, the tarpaulin, the studded shoes, and introduces some picturesque elements such as the posters or the bollard; the simplicity of the food, the snow and the cold, as well as the absence of shelter or human life, translate the difficult and solitary existence of these little chimney sweeps.
In the spirit and dress of the chimney sweeps, our painting is similar to the one by Claude-Marie Dubufe (1790-1864), Duval Lecamus's friend, dated 1820, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1822, and now preserved in the Grenoble Museum.

Galerie de Frise


19th Century Oil Painting Restauration - Charles X