Pierre PARROCEL

(Avignon 1670 - Avignon 1739)

The Head of a Bearded Man

Black and white chalk on light brown paper. 
193 x 135 mm. (7 5/8 x 5 3/8 in.)
 
This expressive drawing reflects the influence on Pierre Parrocel of his training in the Roman studio of the painter Carlo Maratti, with the use of a coloured paper also displaying a Venetian influence. A comparable drawing by Parrocel of a bearded man is in the Musée Atger in Montpellier, while another similar study of the heads of two women was at one time in the collection of Jean Masson and was sold at auction in Paris in 1923.
 
A member of a prominent local family of artists active over several generations, the Baroque painter Pierre Parrocel was known for religious works. A pupil of his uncle, the painter of battle scenes and hunting subjects Joseph Parrocel, he completed his training in the studio of Carlo Maratti in Rome. After stopping in Venice on his way back to France, Parrocel made his career in Avignon, where he established his reputation as an ecclesiastical painter of the first rank. Among his earliest independent commissions was a series of paintings of scenes from the life of Saint Anthony of Padua for the church of Saint-Pierre in Avignon. After two further trips to Rome, in 1707-1708 and in 1717 (the second time in the company of his two sons Pierre-Ignace and Joseph-François Parrocel and his nephew Etienne Parrocel), Pierre Parrocel settled in his native Provence. Over the thirty or so years of his career, he painted numerous works for several churches in Avignon, as well as in Arles, Carpentras, Marseille, Moulins, Nîmes and Tarascon. Agrée at the Académie Royale in Paris in 1730, Parrocel worked on a series of sixteen paintings of the story of Tobias for the Hôtel de Noailles in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, completed shortly before his death in 1739. He also produced a number of engravings of religious and mythological subjects and genre scenes.

Provenance

Possibly Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 19 June 2003, lot 108
Private collection, Middlesex
Thence by descent.
 

Pierre PARROCEL

The Head of a Bearded Man