Antoine BÉRANGER

(Paris 1785 - Sevres 1867)

Children Playing a Game

Pen and brown ink, heightened with white, on light brown paper, made up at the top edge.
A study of several male and female figures in pen and brown ink, heightened with white, on the verso, backed.
Formerly inscribed Antoine Béranger on the former mount.
147 x 270 mm. (5 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.) [image]
168 x 270 mm. (6 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.) [sheet]
PREVIOUS PRICE: £24,000
SALE PRICE: £18,000

As a draughtsman, Antoine Béranger often worked in a distinctive technique of pen and ink and white gouache on brown paper. Among other examples of drawings of genre subjects by Béranger in this distinctive technique is The Conjurer (L’Escamoteur), in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh; a drawing which once belonged to Georges Haumont, a curator at the Sèvres museum. Drawings by Béranger are quite rare, and the largest extant group, numbering around twenty sheets, is today in the collection of the Musée Nationale de Céramique in Sèvres.


Antoine Béranger is perhaps best known for his work as a designer at the Manufacture de Sèvres porcelain factory, which was under the direction of Alexandre Brongniart. In July 1808, soon after Béranger began working at Sèvres, Brongniart described the young artist, in a letter to the intendant général de la maison de l’empereur, as a ‘young man little known but already possessed of talent and promising of more in the judgment of artists who have seen his work.’ Béranger painted and decorated many pieces of porcelain for Sévres, notably a large vase in the ‘Etruscan’ style that depicted the triumphal procession into Paris of some of Rome’s most famous antiquities, including the Laocoön group and the Apollo Belvedere, brought from Italy and destined for the Musée Napoleon. Richly decorated in gold and over a metre in height, this beautifully painted vase was made in 1813, and was described by Brongniart as one of the most beautiful works to come from the workshops at Sévres. (After the abdication of Napoleon in 1814 and the return of the Bourbons to power, Brongniart saved the vase from destruction.) As a painter of historical and genre subjects, Béranger exhibited yearly at the Salons in Paris between 1814 and 1849. The stylistic influence of Louis-Léopold Boilly is evident in many of his genre paintings, such as The Consequences of the Seduction, exhibited at the Salon of 1840 and now in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay and on loan to the Musée de l’Assistance Publique in Paris. Béranger was active as a lithographer, and also designed stained-glass windows for the chapels of Dreux and Trianon, His daughter and two sons were all artists.

Provenance

Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 24 November 1993, lot 97
Kate de Rothschild, London, in 2001
Private collection, USA.


Literature

Michael Clarke, Poussin to Seurat: French Drawings from the National Gallery of Scotland, exhibition catalogue, Edinburgh, 2010, p.16, under no.3; Paris, Marty de Cambiaire, Tableaux et Dessins / Paintings & Drawings, exhibition catalogue, 2016, pp.96 and 145, under no.34.

Antoine BÉRANGER

Children Playing a Game