170
170
Jean-Michel Moreau, called Moreau Le Jeune
BACCHANALE
Estimate
10,00015,000
JUMP TO LOT
170
Jean-Michel Moreau, called Moreau Le Jeune
BACCHANALE
Estimate
10,00015,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

|
New York

Jean-Michel Moreau, called Moreau Le Jeune
PARIS 1741 - 1814
BACCHANALE
Pen and black ink and watercolor, over traces of black chalk, heightened with white;
signed and dated in black ink, lower left: moreau / Lejeune 1767
562 by 451 mm; 22 1/8  by 17¾ in
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

M. Maherault, Paris,
his sale, Paris, 27-29 May 1880;
with Galerie de Bayser, Paris, by 1990;
Private Collection, New York

Literature

M.-J.-F. Mahérault, L'Oeuvre de Moreau le Jeune, Paris 1880, p. 499, no. 563 (Bacchanale. Grand dessin.);
Probably E. Bocher, Les gravures françaises du XVIIIe siècle, ou Catalogue raisonné des estampes, Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune, Paris 1882, p. 721, no. 204 (Bacchanale - Aquarelle)

Catalogue Note

This unusually large sheet, executed in a delightful combination of media, depicts a scene of Bacchic revelry, set in the seclusion of a wooded enclave, with satyrs and wood nymphs frolicking in the presence of putti. To the right of the composition, voyeuristic onlookers peep through the undergrowth to catch sight of the festivities taking place, all under the approving eye of Bacchus, who is represented in the form of a carved bust, festooned with grapevines.

Whilst the impressive, large scale format of this drawing was typically reserved by the artist for his celebrated depictions of events surrounding the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie-Antoinette in 1770,1 the present work, with its scenes of dancing and merrymaking, also perfectly embodies the hedonistic pursuits that came, in part, to epitomize the court of Louis XV at Versailles.

Whilst it is all too easy to focus one's attention on the gratifying encounters unfurling in front of the viewer's eyes, one should not overlook some of the more technical aspects of this drawing, in which Moreau le Jeune’s characteristic and energetic handling of the pen and black ink medium is totally evident, in particular in the group of onlookers on the right hand of the composition and the group of putti to the left. This, coupled with the bolder outlines, intended to enforce the central grouping, and the use of watercolor, gives this impressive work a vibrancy and richness rarely found on this scale in the artist’s graphic oeuvre.

1. See sale, London, Sotheby's, 8 July 2015, lot 131

Old Master Drawings including the Collection of Professor Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

|
New York