The Russian Academy of Fine Arts
The Repin State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture,
St. Petersburg

Cupid Playing Lyre for Venus Who is Holding His Bow and Arrows.

Cupid Playing Lyre for Venus Who is Holding His Bow and Arrows.

Oil on canvas. 153 x 146 cm
On the right side of the canvas, to the right from left knee of Cupid, on the hillock, there are the signature and the date (the honour of paying my attention to these belongs to Ekaterina V. Deryabina, the Hermitage curator – A. M.): Lagrené[e] // 1755 


Lagrenée, Louis Jean François l’aine
January 21, 1724, Paris – June 19, 1805, Paris

Louis Jean François Lagrenée, l’aine, a painter and an etcher, was an apprentice of Carle van Loo. In 1749 won the 1st Roman prize for his painting Joseph guessing dreams. In 1754 attended the French Academy in Rome. The same year returned to Paris, and a year later was nominated as an academician for his work The Rapture of Deianeira (Paris, Louvre). In 1760 visited St. Petersburg as an invitee of the empress Elizaveta Petrovna to complete the work in the Winter Palace that had been started by Louis Joseph le Lorrain, and was charged with the task of managing the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. His successful educational activity at the Academy was influential in the making of Russian academic art. In Russia Lagrenée portrayed the empress Elizaveta Petrovna (Douais, the Museum). In 1762 he returned to Paris, and in 1781–1787 held the post of the Director of the French Academy in Rome. Lagrenée painted large and small-scale decorative canvases, allegorical, historical and religious works, now widely represented not only in the Louvre collection, but also in other national museums of France as well as in those of many European countries. In Russia Lagrenée’s works are held by the State Hermitage museum, the State Russian museum, the Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Gatchina Palace museum in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Pushkin museum of fine arts, the Yussupov Estate-museum of Arkhangelskoye in the suburbs of Moscow and by other collections. Along with the paintings by Lagrenée the elder, museums hold many of his drawings: compositional sketches for the paintings as well as studies on location, which were to supply his apprentices with samples. The State Russian museum holds 47 of Lagrenée’s drawings, including two compositional ones, several sketches of heads, hands and feet, and over 30 draperies. The Section of drawings at the Hermitage Department of West European art also holds drawings by Lagrenée. Among those there are The Bethlehem Slaughter of the Innocents (pen, brush, ink, sepia, whitewash), The Allegory in Honour of Duke Choiseul (pen, water-colour), a sketch for the plafond in the Kuskovo estate, and a sketch of a sitter (pencil). The Museum of the Academy of fine Arts holds Lagrenée’s notebook and 12 of his drawings, yet the authorship of some of them remaining questionable. In fact all Lagrenée’s works now kept in the collections of the State Russian museum, the State Hermitage museum, and the State Tretyakov Gallery were moved to the said collections from the Academy of Fine Arts as a result of its Museum reorganization in 1922.

Vertumnus and Pomona. 1759

Vertumnus and Pomona. 1759
Oil on canvas. 153 x 146 cm
On the right, behind the figure of Cupid, on the ground level, there are
the signature and the date put above the old restored layer: Lagrené[e] // 1755

Сюжет картины Вертумн и Помона. Вертумн –  божество садов и обработки земли, супруг Помоны, римской богини плодов. Культ Вертумна был распространен по всей Италии. Уже в V в. до н. э. в Риме ему был поставлен храм. Миф о Вертумне и Помоне разработан в Метаморфозах Овидия  Вертумн мог принимать любой образ. Он под видом старухи явился к Помоне и убедил ее стать его женой: «Слушай старуху меня, потому что люблю тебя больше / Всех, не поверишь ты как!

Из серии "забытая живопись"

Battle of Good and Evil


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