68
68
François Le Moyne
AN ALLEGORY OF DRAWING
Estimation
8 00012 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT
68
François Le Moyne
AN ALLEGORY OF DRAWING
Estimation
8 00012 000
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings

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New York

François Le Moyne
PARIS 1688 - 1737
AN ALLEGORY OF DRAWING
Black and white chalk;
bears numbering upper right: 23
204 by 210 mm; 8 by 8 1/4  in
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Provenance

Sale, New York, Christie's, 10 January 1996, lot 203

Description

The present drawing, executed in Le Moyne's characteristic combination of black and white chalk, is a study for the artist's painting the Allegory of Drawing, now housed in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.1  The painting was executed by Le Moyne for his friend, the 18th-century engraver Jean-Baptiste Massé, and was originally displayed with its pendant the Allegory of Music, which entered the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, in 1923.2  As Jean-Luc Bordeaux notes, it was the Comte de Caylus who first identified the two paintings as pendants, writing "Le Génie du Dessin qui découvre la Vérité, et pour pendant celui de La Musique, l'un et l'autre peints pour M. Massé, son ami".3

As Bordeaux further notes, the composition of these two pictures "with their groupings of healthy putti should be regarded as the direct antecedents of Boucher's popular canvases dealing with children sporting, such as L'Amour Oiseleur and L'Amour Moissonneur".4  Bordeaux therefore dates the two Russian paintings to circa 1727-29, giving us a terminus ante quem of 1729 for the present drawing.

1. J.-L. Bordeaux, François Le Moyne, 1688-1737, and his generation, Paris 1984, pp. 106-7, no. 63, reproduced fig. 66
2. Ibid., p. 106, no. 62, reproduced fig. 65
3. Comte de Caylus, 'Vie de François Lemoine,' in Vies d'artistes du XVIIIème siècle, Paris 1910, p. 66
4. Bordeaux, op. cit., p. 107; for the drawings, see A. Ananoff, François Boucher, Lausanne and Paris 1976, vol. I, nos. 62 and 63

Old Master Drawings

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New York