Joseph-François PARROCEL

(Avignon 1704 - Paris 1781)

Virtue Defeating Vice

Pen and brown ink and grey wash.
Signed j f Parrocel at the lower left.
201 x 146 mm. (7 7/8 x 5 3/4 in.)
Relatively few drawings by Joseph-François Parrocel are known outside of a large group of some fifty sheets in the Louvre. His drawings, most of which are signed, can be divided into two main groups; works executed in black and red chalk, and those in brown ink and grey or brown wash.

Among stylistically comparable drawings by the artist is a study of Venus and Aeneas in the Petithory collection at the Musée Bonnat-Helleu in Bayonne and a drawing of Saint John the Baptist Preaching, on the London art market in 1977.

A member of a prominent local family of artists active over several generations, Joseph-Ignace-François Parrocel was a pupil of his father Pierre. In the company of his cousin Etienne Parrocel, he traveled to Rome in 1717. While Etienne remained in Italy, where he was known as Stefano Parrocel, and devoted himself to religious paintings, Joseph-François returned to France and entered the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. He made a second trip to Rome between 1736 and 1740, studying at the Académie de France. In 1751 he painted an altarpiece of The Adoration of the Magi for the Cathedral at Amiens, and two years later completed four canvases for the abbey at Valloires. Agrée at the Academie Royale as a history painter in 1753, Parrocel regularly exhibited both paintings and drawings at the Salon between 1755 and 1781. He continued to receive ecclesiastical commissions, often for Benedictine churches such as the abbey of Mont Saint-Quentin, near Peronne in Picardy, and the churches at Orléans and Tonnerre. In keeping with the family artistic tradition, he also painted a number of military scenes, some of which are at Versailles.


An unidentified collector’s mark (Lugt 3341) stamped at the lower right

Maria Christina Funghini, Rome

P. & D. Colnaghi, London, in 1995

Private collection, Middlesex

Thence by descent.


Joseph-François PARROCEL

Virtue Defeating Vice