Edme Bouchardon

Edme Bouchardon
Vade Mecum at Rome : Sketchbook in two volumes and one small unbound gathering of 147 drawings and sketches from ancient statues and paintings
Various media: chiefly red chalk, with some drawings in pen and brown ink, black chalk, or graphite on paper; bound in limp vellum.
Vol. 1, Binding: 7 3/8 x 5 1/8 in (187 x 130 mm), Vol. 1, Leaf: 7 1/8 x 5 in (181 x 127 mm); Vol. 2, Binding: 8 1/8 x 5 1/2 in (206 x 140 mm), Vol. 2, leaf: 7 3/4 x 5 1/4 in (197 x 133 mm); Vol 3: No Binding, Vol. 3, Leaf: 7 3/8 x 5 in (187 x 127 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1907.

Watermark: three hills within a circle (cf. Heawood 2611).
These two volumes and one small unbound gathering comprise a total of 146 drawings and sketches by Bouchardon after ancient Roman statues and paintings.

Pierre Jean Mariette (1694-1774), Paris; his sale, 1775, no. 1152 ("Un Portefeuille, contenant 90 dessins, faits à Rome, d'après différents Figures & Monuments antiques, à la sanguine, de petit in-fol."); purchased by Earl Gower (who inscribed in Volume I, "Vade mecum/ de Bouchardon/ à Rome & c/ acheté a la Vente de Mr Mariette"); De Bure, Paris; purchased in 1836 by the Duke of Sutherland (inscribed and signed by him in pen and brown ink on fly leaf "B: n.1698. élève de Coustou le jeune./ étudia à Rome - mort à Paris 1762./ ce livre fut acheté chez De Bure/ à Paris 1836./ Sutherland"); purchased from the Sutherland Library by Francis Harvey, London; from whom purchased in 1907 by J. Pierpont Morgan for L125 (no mark; see Lugt 1509).

The three small sketchbooks, two of which are bound in limp vellum, comprising Edme Bouchardon's "Vade Mecum", have been housed in the Morgan Library for more than eighty years, but they have never been published. The sculptor Bouchardon is equally well-known as a draughtsman. Indeed, he is the only French sculptor of the eighteenth century who is known to have produced a body of drawings of equal importance. His drawings complement his sculpted work, making his artistic personality better known.
Born in 1698, Bouchardon traveled to Rome in 1723, where he studied for nine years before he was recalled to Paris by Louis XV. As a sculptor, he naturally gravitated towards all the monuments Rome had to offer. Most of the drawings in the "Vade Mecum" are executed in red chalk, which was always his medium of choice; however, a number are executed in pen and ink and/or black chalk or graphite. The sketchbooks contain many careful sketches of statues and monuments in Rome, including the Jonah in the Chigi chapel in S. Maria del Popolo (which Raphael designed and Lorenzetti carried out), Maderno's statues of saints ornamenting S. Andrea della Valle, and the turtle fountain in the Piazza Mattei, which dates to the sixteenth century. Bouchardon was not only interested in the earlier monuments of Rome but also included in his sketchbook drawings of contemporary work such as the sculptures for the tomb of Gregory XIII in St. Peter's, which Camillo Rusconi had just completed in 1723.
The second volume begins with a pencil sketch of a fountain by Giambattista Bologna and continues with several red chalk copies of Roman portrait busts, many of which are today in the Vatican Museum but which were then in the Palazzo Belvedere. There are also some sketches for the Fontana de Trevi. It is interesting to note in this connection that Bouchardon was one of the artists who entered the competition to complete the fountain. Eventually, one comes to perhaps the most striking opening in the book, the portrait study of a man holding his head in his hands. Although the man's eyes are closed, Bouchardon's own features are recognizable; his full-lipped mouth and aquiline nose can be compared with his self-portrait in profile, the counterproof of which is in the Louvre (inv. 787). This portrait is unique in the "Vade Mecum" and is followed closely by Bouchardon's copy of Bernini's bust of Cardinal Scipio Borghese.

Associated names: 

Mariette, Pierre Jean, 1694-1774, former owner.
Stafford, Granville Leveson-Gower, Marquess of, 1721-1803, former owner.
Bure, Jean Jacques de, former owner.
Sutherland, Duke of, former owner.
Harvey, Francis, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 111
Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 45, repr (vol. I, fol. 6; vol. I, fol. 15; vol. II, fol. 12v).
Denison, Cara, Myra Nan Rosenfeld, and Stephanie Wiles. Exploring Rome : Piranesi and His Contemporaries. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library; Montréal : Centre Canadien d'Architecture, 1993, no. 79, repr. (vol. I, fol. 6; vol. I, fol. 15; vol. II, fol. 12v).

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