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Creator:
Louis Laguerre, 1663–1721, French, active in Britain (from ca. 1684)
Title:

The Rape of Proserpine, design for the staircase of Devonshire House, London

Date:
ca. 1704
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 42 1/8 x 30 inches (107 x 76.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1976.7.50
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | architecture | chariot | cherubs | clouds | columns (architectural elements) | costume | design | horses (animals) | illusion | men | mythology | religious and mythological subject | staircase | women
Access:
On view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:285
Export:
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Louis Laguerre, a French painter who worked with Charles Le Brun at Versailles, moved to London in about 1684 and soon enjoyed the patronage of the most exalted families in Britain, including the Cavendish family. This sketch is an unexecuted proposal for decorating a staircase in the London town house (since demolished) of the first Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish. The walls, imagined as a fictive tapestry, represent Proserpine’s (Persephone’s) abduction by Pluto, the god of the underworld, while a feast of the gods fills the ceiling. Illusionistic murals were the preeminent form of history painting at the turn of the eighteenth century, decorating interior spaces in the homes of the elite, in London town houses and country estates alike.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 136-137, N590.2

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 136-137, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)


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