DescriptionGuillaume Seignac (French, 1870-1924)
Oil on canvas
25-1/2 x 21-1/4 inches (64.8 x 54.0 cm)
Signed lower left: G - Seignac
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York, Inventory number B1823;
Private collection, Massachusetts, acquired from the above, 2012.
The mischievous antics of Cupid had long been a popular pictorial subject and found a receptive audience in late nineteenth-century France. Known for his ability to cause even the most powerful god or man to succumb to uncontrollable desire, Cupid, in the present work, is rendered harmless by his mother, the goddess Venus, who lovingly embraces him while snatching away his bow and arrows. Seignac, skillfully depicts Cupid as a sweet, winsome boy enjoying the attentions of his mother; a sharp contrast to the cruel torment of heartbreak he is capable of inflicting.
Guillaume Seignac forged a successful career as a painter of Classical antiquity that was strongly influenced by the example of William Bouguereau, the preeminent French Academic painter of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. A product of the Académie Julian in Paris, Seignac trained directly with Bouguereau, as well as his like-minded colleagues Tony Robert-Fleury and Gabriel Ferrier, who emphasized impeccable draftsmanship and focused on idealized beauty both in their own work and their teaching. In Disarming Cupid, we see the master return to a favored motif in order to satisfy his eager clientele.
Original canvas, strip lined. Fully stable paint film and very modest craquelure commensurate with age. Slight impression of crossbar of stretcher in canvas. Under UV examination there is evidence that minor restoration was carried out at two different periods of time. Newer touches of inpaint are small and confined to the cupid's eyes and lips, a couple spots in the woman's hair, where her chin nestles against the Cupid, and on her ankle. There is older inpaint on the woman's neck and cheek, and on Cupid's thigh. Framed Dimensions 32.5 X 28.25 X 4.5 Inches
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