Louyse's widowed mother remarries in 1620 with the painter François Garnier. Louyse completes her apprenticeship with François, emphasizing the theme of the fruit basket. Louyse was precociously gifted and it is likely that these two young people who were only ten years old apart have influenced each other.
On 27 June 2013, Sotheby's sold for € 1,03M including premium an oil on panel 51 x 71 cm signed by Louyse Moillon, dated 1629, showing peaches in a basket of china. The artist was not yet 20 years old. The catalog stated that it was her earliest dated work. She was undoubtedly in her own right a pioneer of still life in France.
A basket of quetsches (plums) by Louyse, 40 x 52 cm, of same technique and same date, resurfaced. It is estimated € 450K for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on June 16, lot 24.
Fruits and basket are different but the composition is similar, centered with a geometric rigor. Fruits are accumulated without individuality, which is a notable difference from the still lifes of flowers and enables to concentrate the artistic care onto the texture. The subtle shades of the plums and the velvety surface of the peaches reach a realism that anticipates Chardin by a century.
I do not think that we should attribute this strict style to the Calvinist austerity. On the following year, Louyse tried larger formats where multiple baskets are displayed or accompanied by a young woman. However, by their simplicity and effectiveness, these paintings from 1629 that were more likely her modelli appear as the masterpieces of the artist.
SOLD for € 1.14M including premium