Early painting blossomed, led by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699) and Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721).
Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699), Un vase en lapis monté en or rempli de fleurs posé sur un entablement orné d'un bas-relief représentant un Triomphe (A Gold-Mounted Lapis Vase Filled with Flowers, Placed on an Entablature Decorated with a Bas-Relief Depicting a Triumph), canvas, 89 x 99 cm/35.03 x 38.97 in.
All the ingredients were present to ensure the success of this painting by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (1636-1699), A Gold-Mounted Lapis Vase Filled with Flowers, Placed on an Entablature Decorated with a Bas-Relief Depicting a Triumph. The only unknown was what amount would be garnered by this subtle, radiantly blooming composition, which adorned the cover of the Gazette of April 9. The answer was given on May 21 with a splendid €360,640, which achieved a French record for its creator and third place in his results (source: Artnet).
Another illustrious name, this time from the first third of the 18th century, was lying in wait and easily spotted: Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). The painter of swings and romantic scenes was represented by an oak panel with a highly evocative title, Pour garder l'honneur d'une belle (Safeguarding a Beauty's Honor)—and preserved it was indeed, at €180,320. When it was sold on December 21, 1784, under Mr. Boileau, it was described as a pendant to another painting as follows: "In one we see a group of figures making music [...] These two paintings are warm in color & graceful in their composition." A tribute that holds good today.