• Title: Soap Bubbles
  • Creator: Jean Siméon Chardin
  • Date Created: probably 1733/1734
  • Physical Dimensions: overall: 93 x 74.6 cm (36 5/8 x 29 3/8 in.) framed: 116.2 x 97.8 x 11.4 cm (45 3/4 x 38 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: Probably Adolphe Eugéne Gabriel Roehn [1780-1867], Paris, by 1845.[1] Laurent Laperlier [1805-1878], Paris and Mustapha, Algeria, by 1860;[2] (his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 11-13 April 1867, 1st day, no. 10); purchased by Biesta. (Gimpel and Wildenstein, New York and Paris); sold 1905 to John Woodruff Simpson [1850-1920], New York;[3] by inheritance to his widow, Katherine Seney Simpson [d. 1943], New York; gift 1942 to NGA. [1] See Pierre Rosenberg, _Chardin, 1699-1779_, Exh. cat., Grand Palais, Paris; Cleveland Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cleveland, 1979: 205, for a discussion of the likely Roehn provenance. The painting is probably the one described as having been seen in the studio of "M. Roehn" in _L'Artiste_(5 August 1845): 72. [2] Laperlier lent the painting to an exhibition in Paris in 1860. He was a member of the military administration in Algeria after the French colonization of that country, and was an art patron and collector. [3] According to René Gimpel, _Diary of an Art Dealer_, trans. by John Rosenberg, New York, 1966: 300, discussing his father's sales for 1905. Dr. Diana Kostyrko, who completed her dissertation about René Gimpel for the Australian National University in 2007 and was given access by the Gimpel family to the original diaries, has kindly confirmed this diary passage and says that Gimpel was reading from an accounts book when he wrote the entry (e-mail to Anne Halpern, 14 April 2007, in NGA curatorial files). Armand Dayot and Léandre Vaillat, _L'Oeuvre de J. B. S. Chardin et de J. H. Fragonard_, Paris, 1907: 4, no. 12, list the painting as owned by Mrs. Simpson. Harry Brooks of Wildenstein & Co. gives differing information in a letter of 11 September 1978 to David Rust (in NGA curatorial files), which says their Paris office "found records to the effect that the picture was bought [by the Simpsons] in March, 1914."
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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