Musical Clock Painting


A music clock painting of the Quai De Brancas. The Quai at Brancas on the River Loire at Nantes was painted by Louis Vincent Fouquet circa 1837 and is signed at the bottom right, “L. Fouquet”. The painting shows a tributary of the Loire River at the Brancas Quai filled with boats, people and market activity. In the foreground on the left of the painting one can see the Bourse or stock market and just behind it the tower of Bouffray which was completely destroyed including it’s clock tower in 1848.

The clock mechanism has six different elements; a large square movement for the actual time with the small white dial shown on the clock tower through the canvas, the grand sonnerie movement rings the hours, quarters and halfs on six gongs, a repetition, control of the hands. The spring for the principal movement is signed and dated ‘Borel jeune a Paris 1837’. The repetition is signed ‘Montaudon 1837 and the principal music box plays six songs. The music itself is set off at the 3/4 hour, and the hour. Gongs for the hour are on the left, gongs for the quarter hours are on the right.

This musical painting is an exceptional example of this genre pioneered first in Geneva. It was then copied and taken to a more sophisticated and complicated level in Paris in the middle of the 19th century. For a history of this genre of painting with musical clocks, reference should be made to a publication by Richard Chavigny ‘Les tableaux horloges Franco-Suisses a musique’, where this painting is shown in figures 1 and 2 on page 18.

About the Artist:

Louis Vincent Fouquet (1803-1869), was born in Orleans in Burgundy where he first studied at the School of Design. He continued his studies under the direct tutorship of Alexandre Gabriel Decamps. Fouquet exhibited for the first time at the Paris salon in 1827 and again forty years later in 1868.

Dimensions of frame: 48 ” ( 122 cm ) W x 36″ ( 92 cm ) H x 6″ ( 15 cm ) D