Circle of Louis Gauffier
Poitiers 1762 – Florence 1801
Angelica carves Medoro’s name on a tree?
Oil on carton.
44,2 x 29,8 cm – 17 3/8 x 11 3/4 in.
Angelica and Medoro are usually depicted together carving their name on the trunk of a tree. The young woman is shown alone in the present work. Her straight profile, long hands, and elegant figure are reminiscent of Louis Gauffier’s style, notably in his Telemachus, Calypso and Eucharis (Audap Mirabaud 14/03/2016, lot 38, signed and dated 1787, 8 7/8 x 11 7/16) and another picture of a unidentified literary subject (Sotheby’s, 27/06/2002, lot 76, oil on canvas, 9 7/16 x 11 13/16 cm, signed). However, Anna Ottani Cavina does not recognize Gauffier’s fine landscape in this sketch, executed rapidly and on paper. Gauffier also painted a picture of a young woman in a landscape, reclining at the foot of a tree, carving a name on the trunk (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, inv. 1983.35). Although its composition is entirely different from the present work, the similar imagery is however worth mentioning.
The detail of small flowers in the grass, the simplified volumes, the straight lines of the woman’s face, and her long fingers are equally reminiscent of later works of Jean Louis Ducis, for example, Orpheus and Eurydice and its pendant The Origin of Painting created in 1825-26.