Place de l'Étoile, Paris - François-Étienne Villeret

Place de l'Étoile, Paris

François-Étienne VILLERET
(Paris 1800 - id. 1866)

Watercolour with white gouache highlights
H. 220 mm ; W. 310 mm
Signed lower right: Villeret

Date: ca. 1840

Provenance: Private collection, France

Watercolourist and lithographer, François Etienne Villeret took part in the Salon between 1831 and 1850. He was distinguished during the Salon of 1834, where he won a third class medal thanks to his churches inside views, which contribute to his renown. He was also one of the first topographical views specialists, and was particularly attached to the great Parisian monuments, like Notre-Dame, Madeleine church, Saint-Sulpice church, the Panthéon, the place Vendôme, and there the Arc de Triomphe.

Symbol of the French national history, the monument was built from 1806 on the request of Napoléon the 1st in the honour of the French armies. The project was confided to the architect Jean-François Chalgrin. Interrupted during the Restoration, the construction site was only ended in 1836. The spectator’s point of view is located in the top of the avenue of the Champs-Elysées: indeed, we distinguish on the Arch’s pillar the famous low-relief by François Rude, Le Départ des volontaires de 1792, also called La Marseillaise. The artist offers us a still rural vision of a capital then in full urban transformation.

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