Michel Dorigny

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Michel Dorigny
1617-1665
Hercules and Iolaus Slaying the Hydra
Black and white chalks, on laid paper; incised for transfer with a stylus.
8 11/16 x 7 5/8 inches (221 x 193 mm)
Purchased on the Lois and Walter C. Baker Fund.
1988.8
Provenance: 
François Heim; David Jones, Paris.
Description: 

Dorigny entered Simon Vouet’s atelier in 1637 and remained the master’s most trusted assistant for twelve years. In the late 1640s, after Vouet painted the lower gallery in the luxurious residence of the chancellor Pierre Séguier, Dorigny produced a series of highly finished drawings replicating the compositions to serve as models for engravings he published in 1651. These exquisitely finished drawings record the lost canvases by Vouet and also highlight the important role played by assistants in disseminating the artist’s work done for private residences. This scene depicts the second labor of Hercules, in which the hero, together with his nephew Iolaus, journeyed to the mythical Lake Lerna to fight the dreaded water serpent.

Bibliography: 

Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 28, repr.

Notes: 

Watermark: indecipherable with a coat of arms (?).

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