The Historisches Musem in Basel
I would like to offer you the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Jean Démontreuil, a French woodcarver who practised his trade in the same period as his compatriot Aubert-Henri-Joseph Parent. (18th century style of carving)
Both woodcarvers had something in common, that is to say both of them were specialized in very subtle carving and both men shared a passion for birds.
We’ve already discussed Aubert Parent in my Dutch Woodcarving blog (Ornamentsnijder), referring to 5 magnificent pieces of his, which are on display at the “Historisches Museum” in Basel.
This Museum is also in the possession of two pieces of Jean Démontreuil, who has remained a fairly unrecognized woodcarver, but undeservedly so.
That is why I want to take this opportunity to show you some of his sublime work. The full-scale carving was presumably executed in limewood and represents a dead bird, “Le Serin” (European canary) and “L'hirondelle” (swallow) both dated and signed 1796. The two small panels in the Historisches Museum basel are two different bequests/legacies from families from Basel and became this way a part of the regular collection.
It is only known that Daniel Burckhardt-Wildt, a rich and well known art collector from Basel bought the carving "serin mort" from a Mr. Dienast, who just came from Paris, on April 20th 1796. So the work came to Basel the same year it was carved.
Jean Démontreuil, a.k.a. Montreuil , born in Bordeaux, France. “Professeur à l'Académie de Bordeaux”. He exhibited his work at the “Salon de Paris” from 1791 till 1798 and must certainly have been familiar with the work of Aubert Parent, who also had various exhibits in Paris (1779 -1783). At the Louvre, it’s also possible to admire one of Démontreuil’s pieces.
On 27 June 2008, a piece of Jean Démontreuil was offered to auction house Delvaux in Paris. The object was described as finely carved and was dated and signed 1791.
|Jean Démontreuil, Swallow Carved in 1796|
|Jean Démontreuil, 'Le Serin Mort' (European canary)|
The Historisches Museum Basel,