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Lot n° 15

Joseph-Ferdinand LANCRENON (Lods...

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Alphée et Aréthuse Canvas Beautiful Louis XVI period frame 40 x 32 cm Provenance: The artist's house in Lods, in the Doubs Heirs of the artist in direct line Private collection, Bordeaux Related work: The painting presented at the Salon in 1831, re-exposed on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition of 1855 and deposited in the Museum of Picardy in Amiens; destroyed following bombings. Exhibition: Musée des beaux-arts d'Agen, Trésors d'une collection privée, October-January 2010 (based on a label on the reverse). A pupil of Girodet, from whom he takes up the aesthetics of ideal and strange beauty, Lancrenon likes to oppose a muscular male body and the ivory flesh of a nymph (Borée en enlever Orythie, Musée de Montargis; Le fleuve Scamandre et la jeune Callirhoë, Dijon, Musée Magnin). As part of the romantic aesthetics of man in the midst of unbridled natural elements, the swirl of algae and foam evokes the underwater world and must have been spectacular in the format of the final painting (250 x200 cm) destroyed in the Amiens museum during the last war. The subject, taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses, recounts the unrequited love of the river Alphée, flowing in Elide and Arcadia, son of Ocean and Tethys, for the beautiful Aréthuse. She belonged to the procession of Artemis and, like her mistress, loved only hunting and running in the forest. To make her escape from the river's ardour, the goddess surrounded her with a thick mist. Becoming confused and seeing her body flowing in azure drops, Aréthuse was then turned into a fountain, whose waters finally mingled with those of her suitor.

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