Once installed architecturally in a chateau in Normandy, France, this large pair of overdoors was painted in the 1700s and executed in a technique known as verdaille. Verdaille utilizes various shades of green to achieve a mesmerizing monochromatic effect. This technique’s rich history traces back to the 12th century when it was initially employed to create stained glass for Cistercian monasteries, where colorful art was prohibited, making these overdoors not only aesthetically captivating but also a piece of living art history. Interestingly, there is a hand-written transport note on the back of one of the overdoors (see detail photo) that mentions the paintings were to be shipped to a Madame DeFrance in Paris, at the rue St. Honore corner of la rue Dufour (freight pre-paid).
These exquisite pieces are encompassed by wood frames adorned with lavish foliate carvings, beautifully painted in a soothing French gray hue. Each overdoor encapsulates a unique musical scene that transports you to the heart of 18th-century Europe. In the first painting, a man plays the uilleann pipe, a unique instrument with a bellow-driven mechanism that distinguishes it from a bagpipe. The musician has quite an audience, as two women, one cradling a sheep, and four more sheep next to a dog have gathered nearby. In the second painting, witness a captivating moment of courtship as a gentleman kneels before a woman with a tambourine in her hands. He presents a long woodwind instrument, possibly a carnyx, while a faithful dog rests nearby amidst a backdrop of gardening tools. These stunning French verdaille overdoors were once part of a themed boiserie room (most likely green in color and centered around music). They can once again be used to create a theme above a pair of interior doors or they can be hung as a unique set of artwork.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with some light paint losses. Slight creases to the canvases from the stretcher behind. Acceptable losses to the wood frames, with traces of old restoration. One canvas has been patched. Please see photos for details.