And the Age of Pleasures
A playwright, draughtsman, and landscape architect, Louis Carrogis, known as Carmontelle (Paris, 1717-1806), was a brilliant connoisseur whose many talents reflect the cultivated and cosmopolitan world in which he lived. The organizer of festivities for the Duke of Orléans, famous for his portraits and improvised comedies called Proverbes, he designed the Parc Monceau in Paris for the Duke of Chartres and perfected transparencies or long rolls of paper depicting delightful landscapes.
From Mozart to Buffon, from Rameau to Baron Grimm, he created a faithful portrait of mid-18th century Parisian society: princes of the blood, writers, philosophers, musicians, scientists, elegant beauties of the "age of pleasures", words coined by Talleyrand to describe the Ancien Régime.
Thanks to Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale (1822-1897), descendant of the Orléans who acquired the majority of this ensemble, the Condé museum at Chantilly has the best collection in the world of Carmontelle’s works with 484 drawn portraits and one transparency.
The son of a master cobbler and an "engineer" in 1744 after studying geometry, Louis Carrogis took the name Carmontelle. A topographer
during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) he spent his spare time making portraits of the officers and organizing improvised comedies.
In 1759, he entered the service of the Duke of Orléans as tutor to the young Duke of Chartres (1747-1793), the next Duke of Orléans and future Philippe Egalité, and from 1755 to 1784, created "bad but accurate likenesses" (Grimm) in gouache and watercolour of the entire court of the Orléans family at the Palais-Royal, Saint-Cloud and Villers-Cotterêts. As an amateur draughtsman, Carmontelle preferred profile portraits for their ease of execution.
Nicole Garnier, heritage curator of the Condé museum
Location: Exhibition in the Gallery of Prints and Drawings of the Condé museum
Exhibition included in the Domain ticket without supplement
Exhibition Catalog "Carmontelle or the Age of Pleasures" in the collection Carnets de Chantilly catalogue by Nicole Garnier-Pelle
Published in September 2020 by Editions Faton