77
77

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF EMILE WOLF

Jean-Baptiste Greuze
THE LOVE LETTER
JUMP TO LOT
77

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF EMILE WOLF

Jean-Baptiste Greuze
THE LOVE LETTER
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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Jean-Baptiste Greuze
TOURNUS 1725 - 1805 PARIS
THE LOVE LETTER
Brush and black and grey wash, heightened with white, over black chalk, on faded blue paper
410 by 306 mm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Vicomte de Pluvinel, Paris,
his sale, Paris, 19-20 April 1830, lot 79;
sale, Paris, 21 March 1840, lot 56;
with Wildenstein and Co., New York, from whom acquired in 1966 by Emile E. Wolf, New York,
thence by descent

Exhibited

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fogg Art Museum/Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum/Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Louis XIII - Louis XVI:  French Drawings from a Private Collection, 1980, p. 23, 130-31, no. 45;
Tampa Museum, Louis XIII - Louis XVI:  French Drawings from a Private Collection, 1982;
Hartford, Connecticut, the Wadsworth Atheneum/San Francisco, The California Palace of the Legion of Honour/Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Jean-Baptiste Greuze 1725-1805, 1976-7, no. 78

Literature

Jean Martin & C. Masson, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné de Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Paris 1905, nos. 92, 98
Anita Brookner, 'Aspects of Neo-Classicism in French Painting,' Apollo, vol. LXVII, September 1958, p. 70, fig. VIII

Catalogue Note

As Edgar Munhall pointed out in the 1976 exhibition catalogue, the theme, of a melancholy young woman communing with an absent husband or lover who is present only in the form of a portrait bust, is one known from other works by the artist, such as The Incolsolable Widow, of 1763, in the Wallace Collection.  He suggests, though, that the drawing should actually be dated later than this, perhaps to the mid-1770s, on grounds of the style of the architecture and decorations.  Indeed, the handling in the drawing can also be compared with still later works, and is very similar to that seen in the 1785 compositional study, The Torn-Up Will, in a private collection.1 

Shortly before his death, the late Edgar Munhall kindly reconfirmed the attribution.  

1. E. Munhall, Greuze the Draftsman, exh. cat., New York, The Frick Collection/Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002, pp. 216-7, no. 77

Old Master & British Works on Paper

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