From June to September 2018, an exhibition dedicated to Jean Cotelle the Younger will be on display at the Grand Trianon. The exhibition will feature some 120 works, paintings, drawings, engravings, miniatures and sculptures from public and private collections.
The first exhibition dedicated to Cotelle will honour an artist who was very popular in his time. Jean Cotelle the Younger belonged to the generation of painters called upon by Louis XIV to decorate the Grand Trianon, a pleasure palace secluded from the hustle and bustle of the court.
la galerie des Cotelle
For the Trianon Gallery, which overlooks the gardens and connects the Cool Room and the Garden Room, Cotelle was entrusted with the largest portion of the commission: twenty-one paintings.
In order to adapt to the setting, he painted in vertical format, rather unusual for landscape painting, to create topographical representations of the Versailles gardens. He adorned the scenes with characters from mythology or fables arranged in two registers (earthly and heavenly), modelled upon the bucolic landscapes of Bolognese painter Albani.
Some paintings of the Cotelle Gallery
This cycle, completed by three paintings by Jean-Baptiste Martin and Etienne Allegrain, represents a unique ensemble, providing insight into the king's taste for his gardens which had recently been created by André Le Notre. Hidden by vegetation, the groves served as a backdrop for the portrayal of the loves and pleasures of the gods.
The exhibition will feature the twenty-four restored paintings following a restoration campaign that lasted several years.
Along with the large format canvases, the fifteen gouaches created by the artist, masterpieces of miniature painting, will also be displayed. Additionally, a selection of lead sculptures will be included in the exhibition to evoke the decoration of the groves which have since disappeared, in relation to Cotelle's paintings.
jean II Cotelle
While the Trianon commission represents one of the highlights of Cotelle's career, retracing the various stages of his work nevertheless reveals different aspects of his talent and his varied career in Saint-Cloud and Versailles as well as in Provence.
Born into a supportive family, his father Jean Cotelle the Elder, a decorator and ornamental painter, sent him to train with the portrait painter Claude Lefèvre. After a five-year stay in Italy, he began his academic career as a miniaturist.
Despite working for the King, Monsieur, the King's brother, and the Church, he left Paris in 1693 in order to live in Marseille for a time.
In preparation of the exhibition on Jean Cotelle which will be held at the Grand Trianon this summer, the Palace of Versailles launches a research notice for three works attributed to the painter, two gouaches and a drawing. These works disappeared from the public eye in the 80s for two of them and soon after the year 2000 for the last one. However, reproductions and publications confirm that they exist.
The works are :
- La toilette de Vénus, drawing
- Vue du château de Choisy du côté des parterres et la famille de Louvois, gouache
- Eliezer et Rebecca au puits, gouache
Once found, their identification would enrich the corpus of the artist and value these works which could be displayed in the exhibition.
Internet user are invited to spread this search as far as possible with the hashtag: #ExpoCotelle.
People having information about these works can contact the Palace of Versailles through : firstname.lastname@example.org
Become a patron
Become a patron of the exhibition by adopting one of the last three paintings to be restored in the Cotelle gallery or by supporting the exhibition directly. You will then benefit from custom-made compensation.
For more information, please contact: