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Alexis Peyrotte (Mazan 1699 - Paris 1769)

Monkey preaching in front of a crowd of turkeys


28.5 x 38x5 cm

Painter and designer to the king for crown furniture, Alexis Peyrotte is best known today for his ornamental designs.


Some of his decorations at Fontainebleau, Versailles or Bellevue, led him to become one of the specialists in this popular theme under Louis XV: Antics (Politics in the Tuileries garden under Louis XV, Carnavalet museum; The card game, Carpentras museum).


This type of caricature, popularized by David Téniers, then in the 18th century by Antoine Watteau, Christophe Huet or Jean Siméon Chardin, parodies scenes of everyday life by replacing men with apes. The goal is to imitate human vices and setbacks.


Alexis Peyrotte's intention here is satirical. A monkey disguised as a monk preaches before a crowd of turkeys. The artist criticizes with smiling irony the missionaries who went to America to convert to "the good religion". The priest is parodied as a barker animal in front of his future converts represented by the animal from America. The turkeys listen with open beaks to this monkey dressed as a religious who lectures them from a hood used as a pulpit to preach.


We find in this pastoral scene the skillful technique of Peyrotte. With great thoroughness, he takes up a theme that others, such as the painter Jean Baptiste Oudry or the engraver Colin in Nancy, have themselves dealt with.

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