A Fine Pair of French 18th-19th Century Whimsical Rococo Style Chinoiserie Oil on Canvas, Circle of Jean-Baptiste Pillement. (French, 1728-1808). One oil painting depicting an outdoor patio scene of a standing young mother, holding a fan, with her three young children playing with a horse-toy, a parrot and a cat, all surrounded by flowers, plants, trees, planters and flanked by a dragon fountain. The other painting depicting a standing young girl, holding the day's catch and a fishing net, and a seated young man fishing by the river, also with his fishing net, next to a wooden pier and amongst plants, trees and rocks. Both paintings crowned by floral wreaths suspended from a trellis; within giltwood carved frames. Unsigned. Circa: 1780-1800.
Canvas Height: 67 inches (170.2 cm)
Canvas Width: 48 1/2 inches (123.2 cm)
Frame Height: 70 inches (170.2 cm)
Frame Width: 51 1/2 inches (130.8 cm)
Frame Depth: 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm)
Ref.: A2594 - Lot 11398
Jean-Baptiste Pillement (Lyon, 24 May 1728 – Lyon, 26 April 1808) was a French painter and designer, known for his exquisite and delicate landscapes. He was regarded as one of the most imaginative of all rococo ornamental designers and although of French origin, he worked extensively throughout Europe. Pillement started his career at the Gobelins tapestry factory in Paris and his influence spread through engravings after his designs which were widely used by silk-weavers, porcelain painters and cotton-printers. He is most well known for his chinoiserie scenes with Chinamen beside lattice pavilions. In France the term, le style Pillement has been used to describe rococo chinoiserie decorations in general. Amongst his patrons were Stanislas Auguste Poniatowski, King of Poland, who commissioned a series of panels which he then gave to his nephew Count Michel Mnizech for the dining room at the Château de Misniowie.
Pillement had an unusually cosmopolitan career. In 1743, at the age of 15, he moved from Lyon to Paris where he was employed by Jean-Baptiste Oudry as an apprentice designer at the "Manufacture de Beauvais". In 1745 he left for Madrid, where he remained for five years. There he found employment in various cities as both a designer and painter. A landscape dated 1748 reveals rustic themes he was to repeat often: sun bathed shepherds leading their goats and sheep to a cascading stream, a water mill, rocky elevations covered in lush vegetation, and the poeticized relics of an ancient bridge. In 1750, at the age of 22, he moved to Lisbon, where he enjoyed continuing success. The lure of travel compelled him to decline an offer to become court painter to King Joseph of Portugal, and he worked at Queluz (Sintra) for Jan Gildemeester. In 1754 he left Lisbon for London.
Pillement then spent eight years in England, fully exploiting the English taste for (Dutch) landscapes. There he was inspired by the paintings of, among others, Nicolaes Berchem. During this period he became acquainted with David Garrick, the famous actor, and his Austrian wife Eva Maria Weigel, who became avid collectors of his work. In 1763 Pillement then traveled to Vienna, where he was employed at the Imperial Court of Maria Theresa and Francis I and worked at one of the Laxenburg castles. In 1765 he left Vienna for Warsaw, where his many projects included decorating the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Ujazdowski Castle, his largest project, commissioned by King Stanisław II Augustus, an admirer of his work. He then settled in Saint Petersburg, the Piedmont, Milan, Rome and Venice. In 1768-1780 Pillement moved to Versailles, where he produced decorations for Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon. In 1780-1789 he was in Switzerland (Basel), once again on the Iberian Peninsula (Cadiz), and in 1789 moved to Pézenas in the Languedoc. In 1800 he returned to Lyon, where he continued to paint while also designing for the silk industry and giving lessons in the Academy founded by Napoleon. He remained in his native Lyon until his death in 1808.
Pillement's illustrations are a mixture of fantastic birds, flora & fauna, large human figures and chinoiserie. He often worked with print makers such as Anne Allen (artist), who would become his wife. His designs were used by several engravers and decorators on porcelain and pottery, but also on textiles, wallpaper and silver. Pillement had discovered in 1764 a new method of printing on silk with fast colours (recorded in his Memoirs). One of his prime vehicles was the single print marketed independently of an album. He published many albums, one is: Œùvre de fleurs, ornements, cartouches, figures et sujets chinois (1776).
Art Institute of Chicago
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (British Columbia)
Cleveland Museum of Art
Courtauld Institute of Art (London)
Honolulu Museum of Art
Indiana University Art Museum (Bloomington, Indiana)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
Museum der bildenden Künste (Leipzig, Germany)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.)
Palazzo Pitti (Florence)
Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon, Portugal)
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Château du Grand Lucé, France
- Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor fading. With surface soiling & craquelure. Each with scattered tiny areas of pigment losses, mostly following lines of craquelure; some undulation to the canvas. One example with the canvas presenting with some buckling to the upper quadrant.