Louis Boulogne

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Louis Boulogne
St. John the Baptist
Black and white chalk on blue paper.
19 1/2 x 12 11/16 inches (495 x 322 mm)

This sheet and another in the Morgan's collection (1957.16) came from an album of academy drawings that was on the Paris art market in the 1950s. It was dismembered and a number of sheets entered public and private collections in the United States. Hélène Guicharnaud notes that the album may be the portfolio of academy studies recorded in the estate of the artist's son, Jean de Boulogne, who planned to give to his nephew, the Abbe de Saint-Non.
In 1999, Guicharnaud published a painting of the Baptism of Christ that appeared at auction as by Bon Boullogne, convincingly reattributing it to his brother, Louis de Boullogne (Sotheby's, London, 18 February 1987, lot 15). Both of the Morgan's sheets by Boullogne are life studies that were used for the painting. Guicharnaud identified two further studies for the canvas, both half-length studies of the woman nursing an infant at far right (Louvre, Paris, and a sheet in a private collection) as well as noting the existence of several studies for details in private collections. One of these sheets is a second study of the legs of the present figure. Ruth Kraemer further observed that the verso of another sheet from the album at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (6827 0.300) contains offset traces of the present sheet, indicating that it would have preceded this drawing in the album.
Watermark: none.


Signed, "LB".

Probably included in a portfolio from the artist's studio, inherited by his son, and eventually assembled into an album; S. Higgins (active 1950s), Paris.
Associated names: 

Higgins, S., former owner.


Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 134.
Adams, Frederick B., Jr., comp. Ninth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1958 & 1959. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1959, p. 99.
Guicharnaud, Hélène. “Studies for a 'Baptism of Christ' by Louis de Boullogne, Master Drawings 37 no. 2, Summer 1999, 181-188.

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