Still life with globe, palette and antique sculpture by Thomas-Germain Duvivier
Our painting evokes the point in time when critics, eager to discover new talents at the Salon, wrote: On a vu deux tableaux peints par Monsieur Duvivier. On aperçoit aisément qu’il étudie avec attention les ouvrages de M. Chardin ; avec les conseils d’un homme habile et de l’application à les mettre en usage, on peut en espérer des succès très rapides (L’Avant-Coureur, 1761). (We have seen two paintings by Monsieur Duvivier. One can easily acknowledge that he carefully studied the work of Mr. Chardin; with the advice of a gifted man and the ability to exercise it, one can hope he will attain success rapidly).
Duvivier almost always incorporated sculptures in his paintings: bronze, plaster, marble depicting the bust of a woman, a Leda or Hercules, or bas-reliefs…. The plaster bust evokes the studies of the artists, painters or sculptors, imitating old masters, as recommended by Lebrun to establish the basis of apprenticeship and creation. More important than the variety and the multiplicity of objects represented, all related to the humanist culture, it is in the way he was able to produce a feeling of falsely “re-arranging” those, that exudes poetry in the compositions of Thomas Germain Duvivier.