A large seventeenth-century oil painting (measuring 10-by-20-foot) has been discovered behind a wall in a building that is currently being restored for an Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris.
After workers discovered the painting, Oscar de la Renta brought in art historian Stephane Pinta to examine the artwork.
Pinta was able to make an attribution: “Mr. Pinta determined that the painting was an oil on canvas created in 1674 by Arnould de Vuez, a painter who worked with Charles Le Brun, the first painter to Louis XIV and designer of interiors of the Château de Versailles. After working with Le Brun, de Vuez, who was known for getting involved in duels of honor, was forced to flee France and ended up in Constantinople.”
Pinta investigated art history sources and “traced the painting to a plate that was reproduced in the 1900 book “Odyssey of an Ambassador: The Travels of the Marquis de Nointel, 1670-1680” by Albert Vandal, which told the story of the travels of Charles-Marie-François Olier, Marquis de Nointel et d’Angervilliers, Louis XIV’s ambassador to the Ottoman Court. On Page 129, there is a rotogravure of an artwork depicting the Marquis de Nointel arriving in Jerusalem with great pomp and circumstance — the painting on the wall.”
The painting is now being restored. The New York Times reports on the discovery of the Vuez painting.