Nicolas Bertin (Paris, 1668-1736) Achille confié par Thétis au centaure Chiron, circa 1725 Oil on canvas 62 x 79.5 cm Provenance: private collection, Paris Literature: Thierry Lefrançois, Nicolas Bertin, 1668-1736, Paris, 1981
Nicolas Bertin has begun his career as a painter under the reign of Louis XIV and has ended it under Louis XV. He was part of this pivotal generation of 'Trianon painters' who switched from large historical painting, to smaller pictures – frequently easel paintings, which seduced a new generation of clients. Painting of the early years of the 18th century was ahead of the evolution of society, and it’s only during the Regency that France freed herself from the rigorous artistic rules of the end of the reign of Louis XIV. The country undertook reforms and made it evolve in its morals. It’s just after this political and artistic revolution that had been the Regency that Bertin painted this picture. The choice of the theme itself is significant of lighter times: the nymph Thetis gives her son Achille to the centaur Chiron.