Juno commands Aeolus to release the winds
SN 374, oil on canvas. 1735

J. D’Audenaerde
French, active in Lille

From "The Pages"

ARTIST:
D’Audenaerde of Lille, France, is mentioned in a guide published in 1772, and another author mentions a painting of his, “Deposition of Christ.” He is thought to belong to Charles Antoine Coypel’s circle of friends, but nothing more is known about his life.

SUBJECT:
The scene is taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book I, v. 50. Juno hated Ćneas and his Trojan followers - particularly Paris, Prince of Troy; she was consumed by jealousy because he had chosen Helen as being more beautiful than she. i.e. “Judgment of Paris “ Gal. 9

Juno had helped Ćeolus, god of the winds, obtain his kingdom, so in turn Ćolus agreed to help her by creating a storm at sea….the winds were to destroy the Trojan fleet headed for Italy. Ćolus had married Aurora, Goddess of Dawn, who bore him 6 sons: Boreas, north wind; Coros, northwest wind; Agrulo, west wind; Notos, southwest wind; Eurus, east wind; and Zephyrus, south wind. Their father kept them confined in a cave, only letting one at a time out to exercise – except for the gentle Zephyrus, who was free to roam at will. I.e. Tiepolo’s “Aurora” Gal. 15

PAINTING:
Juno stands in the center in queenly pose, holding a scepter. She wears a blue garment and a golden crown. Zephyr hovers by her right shoulder as Ćolus holds the door of the cave. On the left side of the painting, two of the sons stumble in their haste to get out. Juno’s messenger, Iris, is a rainbow left by her swiftly moving robe. Juno’s chariot bears her peacock symbol; a real peacock is at her feet. Nymphs pour water on the ill-fated Trojan ships (see sail).

The composition is pyramidal, with pastel coloring. The figures are highly active, gesturing, pouring, flying, tumbling….everything augurs change, which is typical of 18th c French Rococo painting.

HISTORIC CONTEXT:
D’Audenaerde is associated with circle of Charles Antoine Coypel, whose signature appears on the Ringling painting “Madame de Bourbon-Conti.” Coypel painted in the court of Louis XV, becoming First Painter in 1743, and Director of the French Academy in 1747.

After the profligate reign of Louis XIV at Versailles, France’s financial coffers were drained. Aristocrats and nobles moved to smaller Parisian townhouses, which had to be decorated. Paintings and sculptures now needed to be much smaller. The style of furnishings therefore became more intimate and comfortable. The collecting of porcelain figurines, and the desire for elaborate table-settings for dinner parties, stimulated the demand for hard-paste porcelain formulas. Factories were set up in France and Germany to produce porcelain which emulated the Chinese imported wares.

Works by Rosalba Carriera, the pastel portraitist, became highly desirable. The whole 18th c scene in France became a setting of light, filled with movement and wit. The desire for the French style of dress, food, and furnishings spread, promoted by French artists abroad, or foreign artists studying in Paris.

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