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$ 22,000

Extensive Landscapes

Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Each signed in black ink on the center of the verso: Meusnier
Dated in black ink on the verso of the mounts: Acheve le 2 Mars 1722/3 & Acheve le 14 Mars 1722/3
Numbered in black ink on the center of the verso: no. 7 / no. 8
Origin France
Period 18th Century
Materials Gouache on white laid paper; original mounts of gouache on white laid paper laid on board
Diam. 6.35 in;
Diam. 16.13 cm;
Condition Fair.
Creation Date 1655-1734
Description Extensive Landscape with a waterfall, two women in the foreground
Extensive Landscape with a ruined palace on a lake and a seated figure in the foreground
Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Martin Alexander, New Jersey

A painter of architectural decoration, Philippe Meusnier studied with Jacques Rousseau, before traveling to Rome, where he spent eight years. During this period in Italy, he is known to have completed fresco decorations on the interiors of several churches. In 1680, upon his return to Paris, he joined Rousseau’s workshop, and, under Le Brun’s supervision, began the decoration of the royal residences at Versailles and Marly. Louis XIV encharged him, in 1689, with painting the ceiling of the chapel at Versailles, after which the king gave him lodgings at the Louvre. In 1702, Meusnier was admitted to the Académie Royale, which he later served as treasurer. By 1720, he was working in Brussels, completing the decoration of the Royal Theater. As a protestant, the religious intolerance in France forced him to then move to Munich, where he found employment in service of the Wittelsbach Elector of Bavaria. The public collections in Munich retain many elaborate decoration schemes proposed by Meusnier, but largely left uncompleted due to his return to France in 1725. The artist, who had renounced his religious faith, secured his former reputation with a series of architectural paintings and decorative interior schemes. It is interesting to note the friendship of Meusnier with Watteau and Pater, both of whom are documented to have painted figures in his landscape paintings.
Aside from his grand architectural decorations, Meusnier also painted landscapes, in oil and gouache, which were collected as cabinet pictures. This pair of gouache roundels, signed and dated by the artist, depicts sylvan landscapes with distinct Italianate characteristics, somewhat in the style of Orizzonte. They are especially notable due to their decorative mats, also completed by Meusnier. In another pair of small landscapes, completed in watercolor, he depicted views of the Château de Sceaux (sold, Vente L. de M., Paris, 16 June 1919). A similarly rendered drawing of a classical landscape with an ancient portico by a fountain, signed P. Meusnier, executed in pen and brown ink with brown wash, was formerly in the collection of Nicos Dhikeos, Lyon. Another drawing by the same hand is in the Louvre (see J. Guiffrey and P. Marcel, Inventaire général des Dessins du Musée du Louvre et du Musee de Versailles, Paris, 1921, IX, no. 9851, illustrated, inventory number 30973).
Styles / Movements Other , Realism
Incollect Reference Number 305072
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