Le Misanthrope, Act II, scene IV, ca. 1750–55
Signed in pen and black ink at lower right, Pierre; inscribed in pen and black ink along lower margin, non morbleu, cest a vous; et vos ris complaisans LE MISANTROPE. tirent deson esprit tous ces trais medisans.
Purchased as the gift of Joan Taub Ades and on the Lois and Walter C. Baker Fund
This highly finished drawing illustrates a scene from one of Molière's most famous comedies, Le Misanthrope, a play set in the fashionable milieu of seventeenth-century Paris. Alceste, the title character, is disgusted by the hypocrisy, injustice, and overall corruption of human society. Nonetheless, he is in love with Célimène, a young, flirtatious widow who is a prime example of the insincerity that Alceste despises. The drawing is one of three known drawings by Pierre after Molière's works.