(Lyon 1813 - 1898)
Oil on canvas
H. 74 cm; L. 54 cm
Signed lower left
Provenance: Private collection, Champagne; June 17, 1990, lot 22, Me Dapsens, Reims, named "La supplique"; Private collection, Normandy.
Exhibition: 1848, Salon des Artistes Français, N ° 4505 (present on the canvas)
The biography of Balthazar Villoud focuses on a few dates and events located in Lyon. His birth, his late marriage in 1863, and his death in the same city in 1898. He presented his works at the Paris Salon, at that of Boulogne-sur-Mer as well as that of Geneva, from 1844 to 1851, leaving some information on the subjects treated. These are mainly genre scenes with gallant subjects, such as Les sœurs de lait, Le retour du bal, or Nonchalance et coquetterie. No traces of Villoud's learning were found. However, at his death in 1898, the artist bequeathed to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, two paintings, one by Anthelme Trimolet representing Mme Villoud mother, and a painting by Mme Petit-Jean, née Trimolet, sister of previous. Consequently, and by comparison with the subjects treated by Balthazar Villoud, we suppose that he attended the Lyonnais workshop of Trimolet around 1825/1830.
Our painting presented in Paris in 1848 under the title L'inconstance, represents a young man kneeling at the foot of the courted young lady, who seems to hesitate in his choices. The mother of this girl on the right does not seem to accept the offer and sends the gallant firmly. Of a formidable quality, this canvas produced at the turn of the reign of Louis-Philippe, makes one think of the fabrics of Marguerite Gérard or Louis-Léopold Boilly by their precision of execution.