Design for a Wall Decoration with Chimneypiece and Two Figures

Attributed to Antoine Le Pautre French

Not on view

Antoine Lepautre was the third son of the cabinet maker Adrien Lepautre. Little is known about his education, but by the time he got married at the age of 27, he had already been named architect in the service of the king. His buildings are beautiful examples of the emergent French Classicism inspired by the kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. The hotel Beauvais, which he built for Catherine-Henriette Bellier, mistress to king Louis XIV, was noted by the Italian sculptor and architect Gianlorenzo Bernini to be one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. This drawing shows a design for an unidentified interior with an elegant chimneypiece. Remarkable is the daring sculpture of two naked, contorted figures which he placed on top of the mantle. The drawing also reveals something of the working process of Le Pautre: he first outlined the architectural features of the interior in a brown ink and then added life to it by filling in the overdoor paintings with portraits and the two male figures in the doorways on either side of the chimney.

Design for a Wall Decoration with Chimneypiece and Two Figures, Attributed to Antoine Le Pautre (French, Paris 1621–1679 Paris), Pen and brown ink with brush and brown and gray wash

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