Winning Bid: $24,000
Les Joueurs de Dominos (La Partie de dominos au café de la Régence) (B & Z 1040 P) , unsigned, oil on canvas, 6-5/8 x 8-5/8 in.; gilt wood and composition frame, anthemion decoration, 10-3/8 x 12-1/2 in.
Note: Louis-Léopold Boilly was largely self taught, earning great success painting small portraits in the ‘span of two hours,’ as he was said to have once bragged. His career and perhaps life was saved when he was reported for his bawdy content to Robespierre and the revolutionary court. He quickly painted The Triumph of Marat to head off this life threatening accusation. Over his lifetime he painted approximately 5,000 portraits and 500 genre scenes. The scenes often incorporated careful depictions of every individual, a product of his portraiture, as he captured them in social gatherings about Paris. This composition is loosely painted, capturing a crowded popular spot known as the Café de la Régence and a group of men in a rather intense game of dominos. It is one of a series of four works in which the others represent the game of chess, checkers, cards. These scenes were subsequently popularized by being produced as lithographs by the printer, Lemercier, in Paris.The attribution has been confirmed by Étienne Bréton and Pascal Zuber, co-authors of the Louis-Leopold Boilly catalogue raisonnée published in 2019.
Literature: H. Harrisse, L. L. Boilly, peintre, dessinateur et lithographe. Sa vie et son œuvre (1761-1845), Paris, 1898, p. 114, no 348 ; M. Tourneux, Louis-Léopold Boilly, Gazette des beaux-arts, 1er novembre 1898, p. 412 ; P. Marmottan, Le Peintre Louis Boilly (1761-1845), Paris, 1913, p. 191 ;J. S. Hallam, The Genre Works of Louis-Léopold Boilly, Seattle, 1979, p. 138-139, 278, repr. fig. 168, p. 307.E. Bréton, P. Zuber, Louis–Léopold Boilly (1761–1845) : Le Peintre de la société parisienne de Louis XVI à Louis-Philippe, Paris, 2019, p. 757, n°1040 P, reproduit.
Related Works:Lithograph by Lemercier, Le Jeu de dominos, circa 1836, 1st print in black; colored print., H. 16; L. 21 cm.; Reprinted by Meyer in 1845 (see E. Bréton, P. Zuber, op. Cit. Sup. P. 875, n ° 2023 E, reproduced).
References: https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.975.htmlThis lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate issued by Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, a letter from Dr. Susan L. Siegfried in The Art Institute of Chicago letterhead dated 1986 requesting the work for exhibition, and a copy of the original receipt dated 1980.
lined with wax and linen, crackle, light retouch upper right; frame with losses to composition