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Louis Volders

Lot 202: Louis Volders (fl. 1666-1711) - The Lefèvre family at a private concert on the tiled terrace of a palatial building, Brussels

Dreweatts 1759

May 11, 2016
Newbury, United Kingdom

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Description

Oil on canvas Signed and dated 1666 on the cello, centre right 170 x 225 cm. (67 1/8 x 88 1/2 in) Provenance: Probably commissioned by Lancelot Lefèvre, and thence by descent to M. A. Lefèvre; Sale. Lefèvre Collection, Paris, 17th-20th April, 1882, lot 95; Sale. Christie's, Bischoffseim Sale, 7th May, 1926, lot 107 (bt. by Willis for 400 gns); Sale. Sotheby's Parke Bernet, London, 16th April 1980, lot 75. Thomas Agnews, London, 17th June 1980; Bought from the above by the present owner, 1984 Exhibited: Thomas Agnews, London, June to July 1979, no. 28 Engraved: Etching by Edmund Joseph Ramus (1822-1890), La partie de musique, published in 'L'Art', circa 1880-1883 The family group presented on this unidentified Brussels' terrace, has been identified as the tapestry weaving dynasty of the Lefèvre family, with the family coat of arms visible on the right and identifiable in J.B. Riestap's Armorial Général (see vol. I, p. 654). The composition includes a man with a violone, another with a viol da gamba, a lady with a theorbo lute, and behind her, a man with a violin. The origins of the Lefèvre family appear to possibly begin with Pierre le Fevre, who in 1630 was recorded in Italy and identified as a master tapestry worker, and a native of Paris. In 1647, Pierre was made an offer on the part of Henry IV of France, following which he subsequently left Florence for Paris. While in Paris, Pierre was styled Tapissier to the King, and provided with a workshop in the Garden of Tuileries. A second workshop was known to have been erected in the Garden of Tuileries, and was managed by his son Jean Lefèvre, who appears to have been in charge until 1770.[1] It is probable that it was Jean Lefèvre who commissioned the present work from Volders, and which was then passed through the family until the Lefèvre family auction in Paris in 1882. Louis Volders is a relatively obscure artist with very little known about his artistic output. He is known to have a brother, also a painter, called Lancelot Volders (fl. 1653-1675), who painted a very similar musical group portrait, albeit somewhat smaller, that was previously in the Collection de Sellier de Moranville, Belgium.[2] In the Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid, there is a painting attributed to Louis Volders, which also features a large family group with instruments on a palatial terrace, probably in Brussels, which suggests that the compositional structure of the present painting wasn't executed in isolation.[3] Yet, while there are other known variants of the musical family portrait, the size and scale of the Lefèvre family group would appear to be the grandest known expression. [1] cf. Williamson, George Charles, úmily of Lefèvre', Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IX, 1913 [2] See: Galerie Jan de Maere, Brussels, Autumn exhb. cat., 1990 [3] See: Camon Aznar, José, Guía delMuseo Lázaro Galdiano. Madrid: Fundación Lázaro Galdiano, 1951. p. 104

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