The Louvre exhibits some of its recently acquired drawings


19/7/10 – Acquisitions – Paris, Musee du Louvre – In renewal of a lost tradition, though only temporarily and in part, the Louvre is currently displaying the fruit of its latest acquisitions to the public.
The museum used to in fact exhibit – and publish - on a regular basis the works it purchased or received as donations or acceptance in lieu, whether it was painting, sculpture, drawings or art objects. For unknown reasons, these periodic, and very necessary, presentations no longer exist. Thanks to the fact that an exhibition date was postponed, the Mollien rooms where the Departement des Arts graphiques organizes its hangs, were unexpectedly made available and it decided to allow the public a glimpse of over fifty sheets (and four albums) which have entered the collections since 2004.

A few of these have been studied in articles on this website but many others have not been discussed because they escaped our attention or we simply did not have the time, or else due to their very recent acquisition. Below we provide photographs of works displayed which we never pointed out, as well as a list of the ones covered in articles, with a link. This will be a modest compensation for the very regrettable lack of a catalogue which, in any case, would have been extremely incomplete as the selection presented here is very small : over the past five years the museum has acquired it seems “over a thousand drawings, illuminations, miniatures, pastels and engraved coppers.”

1. Richard Westall (1765-1836)
Jesus Evicting Gods from Egypt
(not in the exhibition)
Graphite, pen, grey ink,
gouache - 59.4 x 47.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : W. M. Brady & Co

What conclusions can we draw from such a sampling as this one ? First of all that the Departement des Arts graphiques makes rather good choices, despite a few flops [1].
Secondly, the acquisitions policy is very clear : a preference for artists missing from the collections, adding to 19th century foreign drawing collections, underscoring the English school and acquiring important French drawings from the 16th to the 19th centuries… However, the almost total absence of Italians before the 19th century is unfortunate although compensated by bequests or donations (notably the purchase by Carrefour of the Beistegui collection, see article in French). Several 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish also joined the collections.

We cannot resist the pleasure of reproducing once again here the photograph of a superb English drawing by Richard Westall (ill. 1) purchased by the Louvre at the last Salon du Dessin (see article in French) but which is unfortunately not presented in this exhibition.


2. French Anonymous, angevin
or provencal
c. 1470-1475
The Emperor Justinian on his Throne,
with Sword and Globe in Hand, Surrounded by
his Lawyers,
Proclaims the Code

Miniature on parchment - 13 x 13 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- French anonymous, from Angevin or Provence, The Emperor Justinian on his Throne, with Sword and Globe in Hand, Surrounded by his Lawyers, Proclaims the Code (ill. 2).

- French anonymous, from Angevin or Provence, The Trinity Surrounded by Cherubs and Angels with Instruments Praying.

These two illuminations (we do not have a photograph of the second one) come from a manuscript of the Justinian Code for which another fragment (a Wedding Scene) joined the Louvre in 1854. The style is close to that of Bathelemy d’Eyck.


3. Jean Colombe (c. 1430/1435-1493)
Christ Before Pilate
Miniature on parchment - 13.8 x 9.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Jean Colombe, Christ Before Pilate (ill. 3). Purchased in 2008, this illumination can be dated to around 1470. It was previously thought to be by Jean Fouquet but is now attributed to Jean Colombe.


4. Jean Cousin the Son (c. 1522 or 1525-1595)
Amorous Conversations and a Musicians’ Reunion beneath a Pergola
Pen and brown ink, black chalk - 26.1 x 41.7 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Jean Cousin, the Son, Amorous Conversations and a Musicians’ Reunion beneath a Pergola (ill. 4). This unfinished drawing was perhaps a preparation for an Allegory of Spring. It was acquired at auction in London on 3 July 2007 at Christie’s for 9.600 pounds (before charges).


5. Paulus van Vianen (c. 1570-1613/1614)
Studies of animals
Pen and brown ink, brown wash - 16.9 x 16.8 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Paulus van Vianen, Studies of animals (ill. 5). This sheet, acquired in 2009, is unfortunately not very legible. It is one of a “pair” with the other representing birds, also acquired by the Louvre. The artist was a goldsmith at the court of Rudolf II.


6. Adrian de Vries (c. 1545-1626)
The Emperor Rudolf II on Horseback
Pen, brwn ink, black chalk, red chalk - 51.4 x 38 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Adrian de Vries, The Emperor Rudolf II on Horseback (ill. 6). Only about ten drawings by the sculptor are known, making the acquisition of this large and beautiful sheet by the Louvre in December 2009 all the more important.

- Roland Roghman (1620-1686), View of the Castle of Den Ham, near Vleuten. We do not have a photograph of this drawing.


7. Nicolas Cordier (1567-1612)
Project for the Statute of Pope Paul V in Rimini
Pen and brown ink, brown wash - 40.8 x 26.2 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Nicolas Cordier, Project for the Statute of Pope Paul V in Rimini (ill. 7). This is a study for the bronze sculpture in Piazza Cavour in Rimini. The drawing belonged to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and was purchased in 2007 from Salamander Fine Arts in London.


8. Olivier Le May (1734-1797)
Landscape with Cows and Shepherds
Watercolor and gouache - 28 x 20 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Olivier Le May, Landscape with Cows and Shepherds (ill. 8). This beautiful landscape by a little-known artist was bequeathed in 2006 by M. and Mme Rouffet to the Societe des Amis du Louvre which donated it to the museum.


9. Francisco Bayeu (1734-1795)
Head of a Bearded Man
Red chalk heightened with white chalk - 31 x 24.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN

10. Francisco Bayeu (1734-1795)
Two Studies of Cherubs, Two Studies of Heads
Black and white chalk - 28 x 32 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN


- Francisco Bayeu, Head of a Bearded Man and Two Studies of Cherubs, Two Studies of Heads (ill. 9 and 10). The first drawing is a study for a fresco representing The Beheading of Saint Eugene which is in the cloister of Toledo cathedral, whereas the second is preparatory for The Orders of the Spanish Monarchy, the ceiling of the Tapestry Salon at the Palacio de Oriente in Madrid.


11. Domingos Antonio de Sequeira (1768-1837)
Judith and Holofernes
Pen and brown ink, brown wash - 36.2 x 25.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN

12. Domingos Antonio de Sequeira (1768-1837)
Ancient Scene
(not exposed in the exhibition)
Pen and black ink, black chalk - 19.7 x 27.2 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN


- Domingos Antonio de Sequeiram Judith and Holofernes (ill. 11). Another sheet by this artist, but not presented in the exhibition, was acquired at the same time (November 2009) (ill. 12).


13. Simon Denis (1755-1813)
A View of the Gulf of Naples
Pen, pencil and brown ink, grey wash - 51.6 x 66.6 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Simon Denis, A View of the Gulf of Naples (ill. 13). This landscape was acquired from the Dider Aaron Gallery in 2007.


14. Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704-1788)
Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour
Pastel - 30 x 24 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Maurice Quentin de la Tour, So-called Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour (ill. 14). This pastel was preempted at Drouot on 2 April 2008 (Fraysse and Associes) for 40.000 euros before charges.


15. Tommaso Minardi (1787-1871)
The Vision of Prince Henry the Navigator
Graphite, pen, brown ink heightened with white - 22.1 x 27.6 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Tommaso Minardi, The Vision of Prince Henry the Navigator (ill. 15).


16. Pietro Benvenuti (1769-1844)
Althaea Throwing Meleager’s Brand into the Flames
Pen, pencil, brown ink, grey wash heightened with white - 27.5 x 38.3 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Pietro Benvenuti, Althaea Throwing Meleager’s Brand into the Flames (ill. 16).


17. Giuseppe Cammarano (1766-1850)
Hercules Overcoming Hydra
Pen, watercolor wash heightened with white - 21.5 x 25.6 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Guiseppe Cammarano, Hercules Overcoming Hydra (ill. 17).

These last three drawings were acquired by the Louvre at an auction in Marseille on 31 October 2009, organized by the Leclere establishments, which included an extensive number of 19th century Italian drawings. They were purchased respectively (before charges) for 8.000 ; 12.700 and 4.000 euros. Two other sheets also acquired at this same auction are not present in the exhibition.


18. Giuseppe Bezzuoli (1784-1855)
Scene of the Deluge
(not exposed in the exhibition)
Graphite, pen, brown ink - 34.7 x 23.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Musée du Louvre

19. Niccolo Monti (1780- ?)
Bocaccio Commenting Dante
(not exposed in the een, brown ink, brown wash - 28.5 x 23.6 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Musée du Louvre


This is Giuseppe Bezzuoli, Scene of the Deluge (ill. 18) acquired for 7.200 euros and Niccolo Monti, Bocaccio Commenting Dante (ill. 19) for 900 euros. All of these drawings had unprobably low estimates around 3 or 400 euros and the Louvre was wise to plan on high bidding thus having enough funds available for the preemptions.


20. Conrad Horny (1764-1807)
Landscape around Eisenach, in Thuringia
Pen, brown ink, brown wash - 71 x 40 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Conrad Horny, Landscape around Eisenach, in Thuringia (ill. 20). Horny is a German painter from the second half of the 18th century. This drawing was bought in 2008.


21. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (1783-1853)
The Church of the Trinity and the Observatory in Copenhaguen
Watercolor, grey wash, pen - 23.9 x 34.4 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, The Church of the Trinity and the Observatory in Copenhaguen (ill. 21). This drawing was acquired at the Salon du Dessin in 2007 from the Thomas Le Claire gallery.


22. Charles Percier (1764-1838)
Décor for the Third Act of Semiramis by Catel
Watercolor - 31.5 x 36 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Charles Percier, Décor for the Third Act of Semiramis by Catel (ill. 22). This opera was created on 14 May 1802 in Paris. The drawing was purchased by the Louvre in 2008.

- Francois-Joseph Belanger (1744-1818), Project for a Mural Decoration. The drawing on exhibit –for which we do not have a photograph- is part of a Belanger album donated by the Aaron Gallery in 2006. Another album, with the same provenance containing 95 decorative drawings, was purchased that same year.


23. Josephus Augustus Knip (1777-1827)
A View of the Sabin Hills near Rieti
Graphite, grey wash, watercolor - 44.5 x 74.7 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Josephus Augustus Knip, A View of the Sabin Hills near Rieti (ill. 23). This 19th century Dutch artist traveled in Italy thanks to a scholarship obtained from Louis-Napoleon, king of Holland.


24. Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842)
Portrait of Auguste-Jules-Armand-Marie de Polignac
Pastel - 37.5 x 26.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun, Portrait of Auguste-Jules-Armand-Marie de Polignac (ill. 24). The future super Prime Minister to Charles IX is represented here at the age of 13 or 14. This pastel was acquired in 2007.


25. John Russell (1745-1806)
Portrait of Francesco Bartolozzi
Pastel - 59.8 x 44.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : All rights reserved



- John Russell, Portrait of Francesco Bartolozzi (ill. 25). This pastel was donated in 2008 by the Societe des Amis du Louvre. The engraver Bartolozzi was one of the founders of the Royal Academy.


26. John Flaxman (1755-1826)
Medieval Scene
Pencil, ink and grey wash - 47 x 69 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- John Flaxman, Medieval Scene (ill. 26). This acquisition (the second Flaxman drawing to join the Louvre) is in keeping with the unity of the Fuseli and Blake drawings we had already mentioned (see below).


27. John Ferdinand Lancrenon (1794-1874)
Boreas Capturing Oreithyia, 1822
Pen, heightened with white chalk - 61 x 48.8 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Joseph-Ferdinand Lancrenon, Boreas Capturing Oreithyia (ill. 27). This drawing (acquired in 2005 from the Chantal Kiener gallery) is a preparatory study for the painting which the artist exhibited at the Salon in 1822 and is today at the Musee de Montargis. An important holding of Lancrenon drawings was recently on the art market. Several of them were studies for this canvas.


28. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867)
Study for the Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien, 1834
Pen
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Study for the Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien (ill. 28). This interesting drawing, a preparation for one of Ingres’ most important compositions was donated by Georges Pebereau, through the Amis du Louvre.


29. Adolphe-Victor Geoffroy de Chaume (1816-1892)
Project for an Ewer for the Duke of Luynes
Pencil, brown ink, grey wash
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Adolphe-Victor Geoffroy de Chaume, Project for an Ewer for the Duke of Luynes (ill. 29). The ewer prepared in this drawing purchased in 2006 from the Jacques Fischer gallery in Paris itself joined the Departement des Objets d’Art at the Louvre in 2003.

- Charles Frederic Soehnee (1789-1878), Journey through Hell. This drawing, for which we do not have a picture, was acquired in 2006 from the Jean-Marie Le Fell gallery which also donated two other drawings to the Louvre. We had written an article on the exhibition which the gallery devoted to the artist (see news item of 17/3/06 in French).

- Carl Vogel von Vogelstein (1788-1868), Jacob and Rebecca at the Well. We do not have a photograph of this drawing which was acquired through acceptance in lieu and came from the Georges Pebereau collection (we did not mention it in the article on this exhibition).


30. Alexandre-Denis Abel de Pujol (1787-1861)
A Personification of the City of Acquapendente
Pen heightened with white - 31 x 25.7 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMN



- Alexandre Abel de Pujol, A Personification of the City of Acquapendente (ill. 30). This drawing, a preparation for a figure in the spandrel for the cupola of the chapel of Saint Roch inside the church of Saint Sulpice in Paris was acquired in 2007 from the Chantal Kiener gallery.

- Peter De Wint (1784-1849), A View of Darley Dale, Derbyshire. This beautiful watercolour for which we do not have a photograph was acquired from the W/W Fine Art Ltd Gallery in London in 2007. This is the first drawing by this English artist of Dutch origins to join the Louvre.

Drawings already publisheb in The Art Tribune’s :

- French or Italian Anonymous c. 1545/1550, The Sacrifice of Iphigenia (see news item of 12/4/08)

- Karel van Mander, Joseph’ Dream (see news item of 11/3/07 in French)

- Albert Cuyp, Fringe of a Woods (see news item in French of 11/3/07)

- Jacques Ier Androuet du Cerceau, Album of 28 drawings (see news item, in French, of 17/3/05)

- Nicholas Hilliard, Portrait of a Young Lady (see news item of 10/12/07)

- Simon Vouet, Portrait of a Man and Portrait of Angélique Vouet (see news item, in French, of 20/4/07)

- Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain, Project for the Chinea of 1744 (see news item, in French, of 24/3/06)

- Charles-Joseph-Dominique Eisen, Saint Eloi Reading (see news item of 23/4/08)

- Louis-Jean Desprez, (see news item, in French, of 17/3/07)

- Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Self-Portrait in Laughing (see news item, in French, of 17/7/05)

- Joseph Vernet, View of Castel Nuovo in Naples (see news item, in French, of 23/6/06)

- Gustave Wapers, Scene of History in Antwerp (see news item, in French, of 11/3/07)

- Johann Heinrich Füssli, (see interview of Carel van Tuyll, in French, of 6/4/05)

- William Blake, Death of the Strong Wicked Man (see news item, in French, of the 3/5/06)

- Louis Janmot, Ideal (see news item, in French, of 23/12/06)

- Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Portrait of Charles Marcotte d’Argenteuil (see news item, in French, of 9/2/06)

- Friedrich Overbeck, Christ with Children (see news item of 14/01/10)

- John Robert Cozens, The Aiguille verte, between Chamonix and Martigny (see news item, in French, of 27/12/06)

- Alexander Cozens, Landscape with Mountains (see news item, in French, of 27/12/06)


Didier Rykner, lundi 19 juillet 2010


Notes

[1] Notably the extraordinarily high price – 1 million euros – of the Portrait of Charles Marcotte d’Argenteuil by Ingres ; we will come back to the subject in an upcoming investigation of French museum acquisitions.



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