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Two Hunting Scenes

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These two paintings, which were made as companion works to hang together, show the moments during and after a gallant hunt for wild animals. The Boar Hunt, a scene of suspense, drama and movement, can be seen as a nod to the aristocratic hunting scenes painted by Dutch artists in the second half of the seventeenth century. It is paired with The Return from the Hunt, which is altogether more peaceful and is closer in spirit to the fêtes galantes of Parrocel’s near-contemporary, Jean-Antoine Watteau, which show elegantly costumed figures in parkland settings.

Parrocel mainly painted battle scenes, particularly the military conquests of the French King Louis XIV, as well as hunting subjects, many of which were royal commissions. The Boar Hunt and The Return from the Hunt were painted in about 1700, probably for the King, who gave them to his son, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, the Count of Toulouse. They have magnificent frames decorated with carved animal heads, which were probably made around the same time.

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