JEAN-PIERRE-XAVIER BIDAULD (1745-1813)
THE FALLS AT TIVOLI, WITH A DISTANT VIEW OF THE TOMB OF THE PLAUTII
Signed to mount JPx Bidauld f.
Pen & ink with monochrome washes on laid paper
with Strasbourg Lily watermark
30 x 47cm
Salon des Arts de Lyon, 1786, Le Cascade de Tivoli
Private Collection, Lyon;
By whom sold, De Baecque et Associés, Lyon, 31.05.2021, Lot 325 (as Ecole Francaise Néoclassique)
The present work is an important rediscovery in the relatively small extant body of work by Bidauld, especially as it is his first ever exhibited drawing. We are grateful to Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon for confirming the authenticity of this work and its identity as that exhibited in 1786 at the Salon in Lyon.
Jean-Pierre-Xavier Bidauld was a French artist who specialised in landscapes, still lives and trompe l'oeil painting and drawing. His younger brother was the renowned Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld, whose landscape paintings won acclaim throughout Europe and who was the first landscape painter to enter the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The younger Bidauld apprenticed first with his older brother in Lyon.
Jean-Pierre-Xavier was born into a family of artisans in Carpentras, in south-eastern France. He studied first under Philippe Sauvan, before settling permanently in Lyon at just 19, where he befriended the amateur artist Jean-Jacques de Boissieu. In Lyon, he earned the patronage of the local official Terray, who commissioned several cityscapes from him.
Bidauld's first dated works are from 1765. His first exhibited works appear to have been at the Salon des Arts de Lyon in 1786, where he showed a view of Tivoli, two landscapes, four still lives of birds and two drawings, titled The Falls at Tivoli and Winter (the former of which is the present work (1)).
Bidauld also engraved a number of landscapes and views of Lyon, having learnt printmaking from Boissieu. Bidauld’s involvement in printmaking was not his primary source of work, as he created no more than a handful such pieces. He later exhibited at the Paris Salon - by which time his brother had become a celebrity in European artistic circles - showing gouaches of flowers and birds; and again in 1810, with landscapes, more botanical still lives and ornithological paintings.
(i) Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (ed. Ulrich, Becker, Willis & Vollmer), Vol. IV, Berlin (1907), p.2