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date: 22 November 2019

Blondel de Gagny, Augustinlocked

(b Paris, March 1695; d Paris, July 10, 1776).

Extract

(b Paris, March 1695; d Paris, July 10, 1776).

French administrator and collector. His early career is obscure, but by 1737, when he was one of the major purchasers at the sale of the collection of Jeanne-Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, Comtesse de Verrue, he possessed a considerable fortune. At the beginning of 1750 he was appointed Trésorier Général des Amortissements des Dettes du Roi, and two years later became Intendant des Menus Plaisirs du Roi. He collected chiefly Dutch and Flemish paintings; during the 1760s and 1770s, his gallery was one of the best known and most frequented in Paris. His collection was depicted in a drawing, View of Blondel de Gagny’s Picture Cabinet (Paris, Louvre, Cab. Dessins) by Augustin de Saint-Aubin, and described by Hester Thrale, later Mrs Piozzi (1741–1821). The paintings were hung in panels, juxtaposed to complement each other and reflect the display on the opposite wall; paintings on similar themes by the same or different artists were hung as pendants on either side of mirrors or of paintings that complemented them. Schools and subjects were often intermingled. In addition to purchasing works from sales in Paris, Blondel sponsored picture-buying trips abroad by the picture dealer ...

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