1728 Paris - 1796
Canvas, 56 x 76 cm
Born in Paris Nicolas-Henri Jeaurat de Bertry studied under his uncle, the painter Etienne Jeaurat. Among the young artists he excelled with his talent for balanced still-life paintings, where he managed to capture the objects of daily life with a detail and vitality reminiscent of the genre’s master Jean_Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.
It was with his still lifes that Jeaurat the younger established his reputation. Remarkably Jeaurat de Bertry was both nominated and accepted, by verbal agreement of the assembly, for membership in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture on the 31 January 1756. His submissions for acceptance were two still lifes, one depicting kitchen implements (Paris, École des Beaux-Arts, formerly Louvre) and the a military trophies (Château de Fontainebleau).
The following year, the artist presented three works at the Salon of 1757. All still lifes depicted a group of musical instruments, an allegory of war and one of science.
Our picture may be compared with the signed and dated pair by this artist Devants-de cheminée, A writing desk where he also arranged different musical instruments in a rich stetting of furniture, sculptures and other various objects in a „Nature morte en trompe-l’œil“ style (Fig. 1 and 2). Further the painting at the Musée Carnavalet (instruments de musique, panel, 61 x 72 cm, signed and dated 1756) and one more at Musée de Blois (Instruments de musique, panel 87 x 129 cm) can be compared with our work.
In all the mentioned paintings we can find the similar powerful diagonal line, traversing through the painting and a resembling arrangement of various musical instruments in front of a neutral and calm background from which one object is expressed through illumination.
Anonymous sale, Paris, Palais Galliera, 1970
M.et F. Faré, La vie silencieuse en France: la nature morte au XVIIIème siècle Fribourg 1976, Fig 1& 2 on page 195, illustrated 290 and 292.