From the monumental paintings of Carmontelle to a monumental fountain
Initially planned for Sunday, March 29, this sale will be offering a lot eagerly awaited by collectors: 17th century "transparents" by Carmontelle. Alongside them, an impressive fountain from the Val d’Osne foundry.
Ducel or Val d’Osne foundry, late XIXe siècle. Monumental fountain in cast iron and sheet metal, three basins with fluted friezes, diam. 280 cm, h. 400 cm.
A topographical engineer for the Army at the start of his career, then a playwright, an organizer of festivals and a landscape architect, Louis de Carmontelle was a man of many talents known to Parisians as the creator of the Parc Monceau. But more than his paintings, what made him stand out as an artist was undoubtedly his "transparents". During the 1780s, he started experimenting with these optical games, and developed these transparents: monumental paintings he spent hours producing on his own, standing before bands of paper measuring tens of meters mounted on a window. He created a genuine show, which could last upwards of an hour, using a box with a handle system to make the rolled-up transparent slowly unwind in front of a light. A story whose protagonists were the nobility and wealthy bourgeoisie of his time.
Monumentality and inventiveness are also the watchwords for this fountain made by the Val d’Osne foundry in the late 19th century. These workshops located in the Haute-Marne region were created in 1836 by Jean-Pierre-Victor André (1790-1851). It was the leading art foundry company until 1900, with a highly productive output beating all rivals, and which attracted numerous artists. André incidentally received a medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1851, in London. The company garnered lasting fame at the end of the century when it produced the Pont Alexandre III and Hector Guimard's celebrated entrance canopies for the Metro in Paris. This impressive fountain nearly three meters high dates from that period.