PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF SERGEI TCHOBAN, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE MUSEUM OF ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING, BERLIN
The adaptations to the Loge du Change were begun in 1747 and completed by 1750, with Soufflot, thanks in part to his involvement in the project, being elected to the Royal Academy of Architecture in 1749.
Though Allan Braham was unaware of the survival of this drawing in 1980,1 its subsequent reemergence on the Parisian art market in 2008 (see Provenance) has provided a fascinating opportunity to further study Soufflot's working practices as a draughtsman, at this relatively early stage in his career. Perhaps the most intriguing question raised by this drawing is found in one of the accompanying inscriptions, on an old tab of paper, previously attached to the old mount, which describes "Ce dessin original de Soufflot et dont les personnages sont de la main de .....".
It was suggested in 2010 (see Exhibited) that the artist responsible for the figures in our drawing may have been Soufflot's friend and travel companion, Charles-Nicolas Cochin, a theory previously discussed by Pérouse de Montclos in 2004 and supported by Jombert's 1770 Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Ch. Nic. Cochin fils, which describes the figures in this drawing as having been "dessinées & gravées par Cochin fils".2
Though Soufflot and Cochin traveled together to Italy with the Abbé Le Blanc in 1750, accompanying the Marquis de Marigny on a Gallic interpretation of a British Grand Tour, little is known of their combined working practices, making this drawing, which must predate their travels, a particularly interesting record in this respect.
The drawing was subsequently engraved by Charles Bellicard and Cochin3 in 1752 before a further impression, often reworked with watercolor, was published circa 1780, a copy of which is also offered as part of this lot.
1. A. Braham, The Architecture of the French Enlightenment, London 1980, p. 26
2. Jombert, op. cit., p. 80, no. 206
3. See J.-M. Pérouse de Montclos, Jacques-Germain Soufflot, Paris 2004, pp. 58, 62-63 and 115, reproduced
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