While a pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome from 1775 until 1780, David made studies of the city and its surrounding landscape, paintings in public and private collections, and antique statuary and objects from classical antiquity; he also made (or assembled) tracings of classical figures, sometimes enriching them with wash. He kept these studies stored in volumes and they served as a repository in his studio for the remainder of his life. After David’s death, his descendants sorted the contents of the artist’s large Roman albums into twelve smaller volumes (ten of which are known), each with an assortment of types of drawings. The present volume is such an album factice and contains a range of types of drawings made during David’s period of study in Rome.
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