Ingres and Gericault for sale in Paris

24/3/10 – Paris, Art market – Although sales for drawings are down this week in Paris as compared to the same period in the last few years, several very important 19th century French drawings came up for auction today.

1. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Portrait of Charles Marcotte,
called Marcotte d’Argenteuil
, 1828
Pencil - 31 x 24 cm
Sale’s Thierry de
Maigret, 24/3/10
Photo : SVV Thierry de Maigret

2. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Portrait of Madame Charles
Marcotte d’Argenteuil
, 1851
Pencil - 32 x 24 cm
Sale’s Thierry de Maigret, 24/3/10
Photo : SVV Thierry
de Maigret

At Thierry de Maigret, several Ingres portraits come directly from Charles Marcotte d’Argenteuil’s heirs, a very close friend of the artist whom he met in Rome in 1810 and with whom he kept up a long correspondence [1]. They represent Charles Marcotte himself, in 1818 (ill. 1) ; his wife Louise (ill. 2), born Becquet de Layens, drawn in 1851 ; their daughter Marie at the age of two in 1830 and, finally, Charles Marcotte’s mother a portrait dated 1825. These works, with identical frame and which have remained together since the 19th century will be separated at the auction, quite unfortunately given their importance to national heritage. In 2006, the Louvre had acquired another drawn portrait of Charles Marcotte dated 1811, with the same provenace and for the considerable price of one million euros which had then been listed as a national treasure [2].

3. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)
Nine Studies of Horseback Riders and Three Sketches, c. 1814
Black pen - 2.,3 x 28.6 cm
Artcurial’s sale, 24/3/10
Photo : Artcurial

4. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)
Four Studies of Horseback Riders,
Two Studies for a Hurted Cuirassiers
and Three Sketches
, c. 1814
Black pen - 21.2 x 28.7 cm
Artcurial’s sale, 24/3/10
Photo : Artcurial

The Marcotte family also owned drawings by Gericault, two of which were up for auction on the same day as well (The Reinless Horse Race in Rome and Hector’s Funeral). However, art connaisseurs would no doubt prefer the three double-faced sheets auctioned at Artcurial that same Wednesday evening, representing, in a very free style, studies of horseback riders and soldiers (ill. 3 and 4) related to several paintings, notably preparatory sketches for The Wounded Horseman at the Louvre (1814). We would also like to point out in the same auction, again by Gericault, a very small but charming Leda and the Swan.

Didier Rykner, mercredi 24 mars 2010


[1] Ingres’ letters to Marcotte d’Argenteuil were published by Daniel Ternois in 2001 in the collection of Archives de l’Art francais.

[2] In the same auction, there was another drawing from the Marcotte holdings but which had left the family in the early 1970’s, representing Charles’ brother, Marie Marcotte de Sainte-Marie.

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