(Paris 1745 - Paris 1811)
Landscape with Two Children Playing by a Cottage
Signed and dated j. huet. 1768. at the lower left.
Laid down on a 19th century mount.
317 x 460 mm. (12 1/2 x 18 1/8 in.)
Jean-Léon Decloux (1840-1929) was a well-known collector of mainly 18th century French furniture, drawings, engravings, porcelain and objets d’art. Much of his important collection of ornamental prints and drawings was sold by him to the Misses Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt and is today in the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York.
Huet was an extremely accomplished draughtsman, and many of his drawings were reproduced as engravings, usually by the printmaker Gilles Demarteau the Elder. Between 1765 and 1770 he painted a series of pastoral landscapes and animal subjects to decorate the interior of Demarteau’s house in Paris, a project to which both Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard also contributed. He also produced a large number of book illustrations. Huet assembled a personal collection of drawings by artists such as his teacher Le Prince, as well as works by Boucher, Hubert Robert and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, alongside prints by Northern artists such as Nicolas Berchem, Paulus Potter and Philips Wouwerman; all of whom can be seen to have had an influence on his own work. His son and pupil, Nicolas Huet the Younger, enjoyed a successful career as a natural history draughtsman and engraver.
His sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Chevallier], 14-15 February 1898, lot 83, sold (or bought back by the owner?) for 200 francs
Decloux sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Baudoin], 29-30 November 1920, lot 68 (Paysage rustique. Deux enfants sont couchés sur des bottes de paille; au second plan, des perches réunies par des cordes. Dessin au crayon noir et rehauts de blanc, sur paper gris. Signé et daté: 1768. Haut., 35 cent.; larg., 47 cent. Cadré ancien en bois sculpté doré.).