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École française

XVIe-XIXe siècle
Singing Putto (c) RMN-Grand Palais (musée Magnin) / Michel Urtado
Singing Putto

Singing Putto

In 1649-1650, La Hyre painted seven canvases depicting the Liberal Arts for a room in the Parisian home of Gédéon Tallemant, a Master of Petitions. The classical architectural backgrounds that La Hyre liked so much, give a consistency to the series. Certain allegorical figures, like La Musique, were accompanied by winged genii carrying attributes, but only the two fragments in the Musée Magnin – this singing putto and probably its pendant, playing the viola da gamba – have been found so far. La Musique is presented in the form of a triptych, the central part of which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Paradoxically, and despite the refinement of this painting, the musical score held by the angel – a figure usually associated with heavenly music – is the music of a drinking song by Philippot alluding to Bacchus’ victory over love.

Other collections

Moïse et les filles de Jethro

The italian school

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