PARIS.- Marty de Cambiaire
is exhibiting for the second time at the prestigious Salon du Dessin. The fair is taking place in Paris from March 30 to April 4. On this occasion, a bilingual exhibition catalogue Paintings & Drawings has been published, and it is available at the exhibition booth 17. The drawings are being exhibited at the Salon whereas the paintings are on view at the Gallery.
The gallerys tenth catalogue is dedicated to a selection of 37 works, ranging from the 16th to the 19th century, most of which come from private collections.
Among the selected works, a few deserve a particular mention.
1/ The first is a recently rediscovered very large and impressive gouache on paper by Ambroise-Louis Garneray showing The Astrolabe caught in the Antarctic ice near Adélie Coast. This beautiful gouache illustrates one of the most dramatic and the most romantic moments of the expedition to the South Pole led by the great French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville with two ships: the Astrolabe, formerly named La Coquille and renamed in homage of one of the famous La Pérouses ships, and the Zélée. During this expedition, Dumont d'Urville and his men were confronted with an impenetrable ice barrier on at least two occasions: first in February 1838 and then in January 1840. This crusade in the ice labyrinth was described almost hour by hour in the later published accounts of the expedition. On each of the occasions the corvettes had utmost difficulties finding their way out of these ice islands that were forming a frightening mass carved up by narrow and winding channels. The Astrolabe and the Zélée, in constant danger of being crushed by the icebergs hemming the ships, were unable to advance with the wind dropped, but continued drifting forward and thus risked colliding with them. In the present gouache, Garneray likely depicted the second of these experiences: upon their arrival to the Antarctic in January 1840, the navigators reached unexplored lands below the Antarctic Circle, at a very small distance from the magnetic South Pole and from the Adélie Land that they were about to discover.
2/ A special attention deserves the discovery of a very impressive painting by Luigi Miradori, called Il Genovesino (circa 1610-1657), which represents the Sacrifice of Isaac. Miradori seems to have retained from the lesson of Caravaggism the will to represent men above all else: insisting on the carnal, physical side of the scene, he chose realistic physiognomies without any idealisation, with which viewers could empathise. The craggy, bronzed, and rough face of the patriarch of the tribes of Israel, the curled up, dark, and stocky body of Isaac, the rotund feet of the angel with irregular toes, all evoke a tangible reality.
This forced realism does not deprive the work of all poetry or a sense of mystery. Miradori stripped down the episode of almost all its accessories the bush, fire, the cloud of smoke, the ram to keep solely the protagonists, placed on a dark background. The angel wrapped his left arm around Abrahams neck to stop the hand raised for the sacrifice, yet their eyes do not meet: Abraham's revelation is an inner reality and it is for the attention of the viewer, rather than the patriarch, that the angel extended his right hand pointing back at the ram, intended to substitute for Isaac although not represented in the canvas.
The present painting has a particular visual strength. The attitude of Isaac, entirely at the mercy of fate; the face of Abraham, marked by stupor and shock; the suspended flight of the angel and the texture of his grey wing which is stretched above the scene like a stormy sky; and finally, the strangeness of the postures all this with great force conveys the sense of the revelation which constitutes one of the major episodes of the Old Testament.
Unknown until now among scholars and on the market, this work is an important addition to the artists work, which reveals a new fascinating aspect of this Baroque Italian painter.
3-5/ Among others, the catalogue includes some interesting discoveries, such as, for example a large composition by the neoclassical artist Giovanni De Min (1786-1859) showing the Fight of Spartan Women, a preparatory drawing for a large composition kept in Villa Manzoni, near Belluno, Italy, or else a large gouache executed and dated 1803 by Saviero della Gatta which shows a View of the bay of Naples. The selection also includes a François Boucher (1703-1770), red chalk depicting the head of a woman, a very fine and moving drawing of the 18th-century French Master.