Louis Boilly

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Louis Boilly
1761-1845
Portrait of an Artist Seated at an Easel
Black chalk with white chalk, with blending on brown paper.
18 3/4 x 16 1/16 inches (476 x 407 mm)
Purchased as a gift of Mrs. Landon K. Thorne, Jr.
1986.17
Inscription: 
Inscribed at lower right in graphite, "L. B.".
Provenance: 
Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc., New York; sale, New York, Sotheby's, 3 June 1981, lot 150, repr.; Paul Magriel, New York; Robert Dance, Inc., New York.
Bibliography: 

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 320.

Notes: 

Watermark: none visible through lining.
The artist's studio was a favorite subject of Boilly, and he often treated the theme in both paintings and drawings. An inscription on the old mount indicates that this is a self-portrait painted at Arras in 1779, though it has also been suggested that the subject's style of dress may hint at a later date. The scale of the sheet is particularly impressive, as is the skillful use of stumped black chalk. -- Exhibition Label, from "Life Lines: Portrait Drawings from Dürer to Picasso."

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