Louis Marie de Schryver (1862 - 1942): A marketplace in the

11/10/2021, 11:07:10 AM
Louis Marie de Schryver (1862 - 1942): A marketplace in the 18th Century, oil on canvas, 53.3 x 81.2 cm (21 by 32 in.), Private Collection Around the year 1900, Louis Marie de Schryver made a significant change in his production.  As in the present work, he depicted flower sellers from eighteenth century Paris -- their wagons overflowing with blooms and tables laden with ripe fruit, all along the crooked, cobbled streets of the city in an earlier era, with its pre-Haussmann, plastered buildings clustered together in various height and skewed angles. De Schryver probably set his compositions in the past at the demand of his gallery, Tedesco Frères; the nostalgic strategy could perhaps help expand his market and capitalize on the vogue for the bygone time period. Whatever the inspiration, by stepping back in time, de Schryver took a creative leap forward.  While his earlier works are closely cropped, giving the viewer a fleeting glimpse of life passing in the crowded city, the present work offers a panoramic view. This allows the eye to meander among the market-goers, from a richly dressed couple who bargain for the best blooms, to a maid carrying her dog (who gazes out at the viewer) as she inspects fine fabrics and dainty shoes. In de Schryver's pre-1900 compositions, the bounteous and varied blossoms offered by the flower vendors mirrored the costumes of the contemporary ladies whose salons and boudoirs he graced. In the present work, he expands on this association, intricately decorating the rich silks and satins with finely detailed floral embroidery. @sothebys (Sotheby’s)

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