VIDEO. “Discovered in Toulouse, this painting has lived a real adventure”

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Found in a Toulouse family in 2021, “The thuriferous angel dressed in a yellow tunic” signed Bernhard Strigel, will be auctioned on February 4 under the hammer of Pauline Maringe, auctioneer at Artpaugée. Interview.

In the fall of 2021, the Maison des Ventes Artpaugee found during an inventory a painting dated 1520 in a Toulouse family. Tell us.

“The thuriferous angel dressed in a yellow tunic” (48.7 x 61 cm), by the German painter Bernhard Strigel (1461-1528) was in an attic under a pile of forgotten paintings. It represents an angel dressed in a yellow habit, holding a censer. A particularly well-preserved work. It was a wonderful surprise. The owner was himself very moved at the sight of this angel who, according to him, was to protect his family.

What is the story of this canvas?

This painting is at the junction between the late Gothic and the German Renaissance. It is certainly the result of an order for two pendants of an altarpiece made up of several panels, for the Church of Our Lady of Memmingen in Bavaria. Noticed by the Emperor Maximilian 1st, Bernhard Stringel was commissioned to create the two extreme panels of this altarpiece, including “the thuriferous Angel dressed in a purple robe” and “the Angel in a yellow tunic”. The first was found in a private collection in 2005 and sold to Drouot in 2008 at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The second is discovered in Toulouse in 2021. Two different representations: that of the angel in the purple tunic seems more austere, more masculine, the second, more feminine seems softer. Upon receiving the photo of this painting, the Turquin expertise firm in Paris quickly felt that it was holding “a masterpiece”. These two pendants are certainly part of this set dismantled at the time of the Reformation in Germany where this kind of subject was not welcome. Under the altarpiece, there were to be four small panels representing sleeping soldiers.

How did this canvas arrive in Occitania?

We don’t know yet. On the other hand, it would seem that this jewel of the Renaissance entered France via Alsace. There is a trace of it in France at the beginning of the 19th century in the Dubois and Saint-Morys collections. According to the Parisian expert Turquin, it would seem that the two angels were never separated until 1816. It now remains to find the central panel of which we know nothing at the moment.

How do you explain the astonishing preservation of this painting?

This work has passed through a multitude of owners, all art lovers who knew how to protect it and take great care of it. This allowed him to go through time without damage.

Today, the public can admire these two paintings in the Carmelite Chapel, including the copy kept in Abu Dhabi. You can also see the picture of the canvas passed to infrared. What is she saying ?

It demonstrates all Bernhard Strigel’s drawing talent: the delicacy of the hair and the wings of the angel, the folds of the garment, the softness of the face, the landscape of Black Forest trees in the background… Everything is perfectly drawn.

You founded in 2018 with Géraldine Martres, the Maison des Ventes Artpaugée rue Ozenne in Toulouse. A great challenge for this young house.

Absoutely. Especially since this study was not widely publicized at the time. We remained discreet. This discovery is a nice blow for us. We also contribute to the valuation of the painter somewhat forgotten by his contemporaries.

What does it feel like to make such a discovery?

A very great emotion. I chose this profession for the beauty of the object and its proximity. For the surprise too. Having such a marvel before your eyes captures the full meaning of this profession. This work can not leave indifferent.

This painting is estimated between €600,000 and €800,000. Can he leave for more?

Sure. We also hope that the buyer will be a museum. It is a museum piece that must be seen by all. But first the State must confirm the exit from the territory. It usually takes three, four months. Toulouse and its region have a rich rich heritage.

After the Chinese seals and scrolls and the painting by Caravaggio, Toulouse is still experiencing a beautiful artistic surprise. How do you explain this number of pieces of art scattered over the Pink City?

Place of crossings and passages, Toulouse and its outskirts, conceals many treasures. City of heritage, the pink city still hides many surprises.

This painting is on display in the Carmelite Chapel on rue du Périgord. It is auctioned on Friday February 4 at 4 p.m.

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