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André Bouys, La Barre and Other Musicians

Key facts
Full title La Barre and Other Musicians
Artist André Bouys
Artist dates 1656 - 1740
Date made about 1710
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 160 × 127 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1907
Inventory number NG2081
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
La Barre and Other Musicians
André Bouys

It is difficult to identify the musicians gathered here with certainty. The man standing on the right is probably the flautist and composer Michel de La Barre, who was a member of the French Académie de Musique – the music depicted is an exact copy of his trio sonatas for flute and bass published in 1707.

The bass viol player is probably Marin Marais, while the identity of the two flute-players is less certain. Based on their ages, they are most likely to be Pierre Danican Philidor and his cousin Anne Danican Philidor (Anne used as a man’s name). However, it is also possible that they are Philibert Rebille and Rene Pignon Descoteaux who played in the king’s ensemble with Michel de La Barre.

The standing figure on the left may be a posthumous portrait of Jacques II Danican Philidor, or a self-portrait by the artist. The costumes suggest that the picture was probably painted around 1710.

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