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Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700–1777).
The Cascade at the Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati
Pen and brown and black ink, brown wash, black and red chalk, heightened with white, on light brown paper, 1762
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows; 1965.18
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As Director of the French Academy in Rome from 1751 to 1775, Charles-Joseph Natoire required his pupils to go outdoors to draw landscapes, despite their preference for the more prestigious subjects of history painting. Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Hubert Robert were among those inspired by his enthusiasm for open-air sketches of ruins and gardens. Natoire gave this drawing to the Marquis de Marigny, Surintendant of Buildings, Arts, Gardens, and Industries of France. It typifies the spontaneity of many of Natoire's drawings, in which varied staffage and ordinary action deformalize the magnificence of an earlier era.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.