In 1992 Rochat discovered an overlooked large painting of The Rape of Europe by Michel DeSubleay (French, 1602-1668), named in Italian Michele DeSubleo, the head of the studio of Guido Reni in Bologna and half brother to Nicolas Regnier (or Niccolo Renieri), working later in Venice and Parma. The work is now in a private collection in Italy and is illustrated in color in La Scuola di Guido Reni by Emilio Negro and Massimo Pirondini, 1992, page 214 (Pesaro) and page 231, fig.218 and it is fully illustrated in color and described in the lavishcatalogue raisonne by Dr. Alberto Cottino (2001) on this very interesting artist (color illustration XXXI and page 123, number 57).
Again, in 1994 Gui Rochat discovered another important large painting by Michele DeSubleo, Herodias Presented By a Page With the Head of Saint John the Baptist (in the catalogue raisonne by Dr. Cottino, page 85, color illustration XXXIV and page 128, number 64). This beautiful painting is fully described in all the literature as being lost but mentioned in DeSubleo’s testament of 1668 (Thieme-Becker: vol. 9, p. 157, Milantoni 1991: page 453, etc.). It is now also in a private collection in Italy.
He found in 1993 a significant large oil study on paper (106 by 100 cm) by Antoine Rivalz (French, 1667-1735), The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, painted in Rome circa 1695 for a lost altar piece commissioned for a church in Toulouse. It was inspired by The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus by Nicolas Poussin in the Vatican. The oil study was acquired by the prestigious Musee des Augustins in Toulouse, Francefrom where this artist came and was published and illustrated in color in the Revue du Louvre et des Musees de France in their issue of December 1999, page 77, number 12 as a significant addition to the collections of the French museums.This painting featured in an exhibition at the Musee Dupuy in Toulouse, from October 20, 2004 to January 17, 2005 (exhibition catalogue, Antoine Rivalz, le Romain de Toulouse by Jean Penent, 2004, p. 43 illustrated large in color, p. 47 and catalogue raisonne pp. 144-145, number 43, illustrated in color).
Also in 1993 he sold to a private collection in Genova, Italy a newly attributed and very interesting large canvas: Tobit Burying the Dead in Babylon, by Salvatore Castiglione (Italian, 1617-1656), who was the younger brother of the more famous Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, named Il Grechetto, both working for the Duke of Mantua at the time. The attribution was fully supported and the painting will be included by Prof. Timothy Standring in his forthcoming book on the whole Castiglione family of artists from Genova in the mid-seventeenth century.
In a private collection is now a re-discovered small work by the fantastical early eighteenth century ‘Orientaliste’ artist Jacques Vigoureux-Duplessis (French, ca. 1700-1730), one of whose larger works in America hangs in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. It depicts: A Chinese Emperor With his Concubines Inspecting his Fantasy Fishing Fleet and is of incomparable charm and remained in its original carved gilt wooden frame of palm leaves (1993). It was apparently adapted in the eighteenth century to a decoration on a sidepanel of a sedan chair advertised by a well-known French antiques firm in Apollo magazine in 2000.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam acquired in 1996 a red and black chalk drawing of high quality: A Young Woman Seated at a Table Looking Through an Optical Mirror at a Print by the artist Gijsbertus van den Berg (Dutch, 1769-1817). The drawing came from the famous collection of Rene Fribourg and had never been identified. It was published and illustrated by the Rijksmuseum in their bulletin of Summer 1997, number 3, page 239.
In 1998 Gui Rochat sold a pair of very beautiful red chalk drawings by Francois Boucher (French, 1703-1770) to the eminent Musee Fesch, the palace and famous collection of Cardinal Fesch, the uncle of Napoleon, in Ajaccio on Corsica. It was not known where these important drawings were as described and illustrated by Dr. Beverly Schreiber Jacoby, advised by Pierre Rosenberg the director of the Louvre in Paris, in her thesis on early drawings by Boucher (page247, cat. Numbers II B 3 and II B 4). They are inspired by a famous painting by the Italian artist Francesco Solimena: La Partenza di Rebecca, now in the Fesch museum but previously in the Baglioni collection in Venice where Boucher must have seen it circa 1730 on a visit till now not known to scholars. The acquisition of these delicate drawings by the Musee Fesch has been published with color illustrations in the Revue du Louvre et des Musees de France, December 2000, page 82, numbers 18 and 19, and they were published by Dr. Beverly Schreiber Jacoby in Master Drawings, vol. 39, #3, 2001. Both drawings were included in an important exhibition of Boucher’s graphic work at the Louvre in Paris for the remembrance of the artist’s 300th year date of birth: François Boucher, hier et aujourd’hui, catalogue by Françoise Joulie and Jean-François Méjanès, Musee du Louvre , 17 October 2003 till 19 January 2004, entries # 14 and # 15, pp.46-48, both illus. in color.
Among the more interesting recent discoveries in 2001 is a striking oil on paper portrait sketch of a young woman by the Flemish/French painter François-Joseph Navez (1787-1869). It is entirely in the Neoclassical style, but already moving towards Romanticism. Navez was a favorite pupil of Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), which is clearly visible in the ” subtle glazes built over a ground of transparent scumbled paints as a very careful effort at a disciplined stylization and a refined technique “ (Lorenz Eitner). The full authentication comes from Dr. Denis Coekelberghs, author of Francois-Joseph Navez, la nostalgie de l’Italie, an exhibition catalogue from 1999/2000. Dr. Coekelberghs established that this vibrant portrait sketch is mentioned in Navez’s own inventory of his works kept at the Royal Library in Brussels as Une étude d’après Mademoiselle Luisa, chez M. Portaels, 1824. It has been published by Dr. Coekelberghs in an article Schnetz? Gericault ? Navez tout simplement in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Paris, February 2002. It is now in the National Gallery of Scotland (cf. La Tribune de l’Art, www.latribunedelart.com., Nouvelles breves 25/5/04 . Acquisitions . Edimbourg, National Gallery of Scotland).
A very fine oil sketch by the Flemish/French painter Joseph-Benoit Suvée (Bruges 1743 – 1807 Rome), of Achille, après avoir trainé le cadavre d’Hector, le dépose aux pieds du lit où repose le corps mort de Patrocle (Achilles, after having dragged the corpse of Hector, deposits it at the foot of the bed om which rests the dead body of Patroclus), oil on paper, laid down to canvas, size 37.5 x 46 cm., a fairly gruesome but famous passage in the Iliad, which was taken as the subject matter for the Concours du Grand Prix de Rome in 1769 (the yearly competition to spend a year in Rome for the students at the Paris Royal Academy of Art). As Dr. Denis Coekelberghs has noted, this sketch does not follow the composition submitted by Suvée nor the dimensions that were specified by the Academy for each submission. And the vibrancy and subtle color of this oil sketch appear unusual for the artist at that period of his work. Dr. Coekelberghs concluded that it must be of a more mature stage of Suvée’s artistic output and he compared it to the oil sketch of Suvée’s Prix-winning entry in the year 1771 (now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen), which displays a similar talented and free brushwork and coloring. This attractive oil sketch will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist by Dr. Anne Leclair, author of the catalogue raisonné on the painter Louis-Jacques Durameau (1733-1796) and Dr.Sophie Join-Lambert, Conservateur en chef du patrimoine, directeur du musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours . It is now in a private European collection.
A major discovery for an important client, Dr. Alfred Bader was a quite large and very beautiful Lot and His Daughters (61 7/8 by 91 3/4 in, 167 by 233 cm) by the Dutch 17th century Utrecht artist Abraham Bloemaert, fully signed and dated 1624. This significant painting was offered at Sotheby’s New York on January 22, 2004 as Attributed to Hendrick Bloemaert, the son of Abraham and a lesser painter, probably because the canvas was very dirty and the signature had been overpainted as P.P. Rubens. Nevertheless one could see here and there, in the head of the figure in the foreground and in the visible parts of the remarkable still life traces of a very high quality. The true signature and date reappeared soon after the first attempt at cleaning. Dr. Bader was so delighted by this wonderful discovery that he has published the story in his second book on his life as a collector. The significance of this superb still life as a very early example of its kind and thus as proto-type for Utrecht Still Life painting cannot be overstated. The pathos of the scene and the portrait-like depictions of the protagonists are unusual also for Bloemaert. The canvas was inspected, approved of and admired in person by the Bloemaert expert Prof. Marcel Roethlisberger. The painting is at present again in a private collection.