French School

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French School
17th century
Construction of an Ideal Figure
Pen and brown ink and wash, over black chalk on paper.
7 1/4 x 6 5/8 inches (185 x 170 mm)
Gift of Emile Wolf.

Numbered at ends of horizontal axes, 0 1 2 3 5; inscribed at lower left in brown ink, Nicolas Poussin; on verso of mount, in brown ink and partially cut off, pour le traite de peinture de Leonard da Vi[nci].

Emile Wolf (1899-1996), New York.

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 341.


Watermark: none visible through lining.
While the inscription on back of the mount claims that this study of human proportions is for a figure found in Leonardo's treatise, it is actually much closer to the figures in Jehan Cousin the Younger's (ca. 1522 - 1595) treatise Livre de pourtraiture, ca. 1595, as first suggested by Alvin L. Clark in 1999. Cousin was inspired by Leonardo's work devoted to proportions as he prepared the designs for the woodcuts, which were engraved by Jean Leclerc and printed by David Leclerc in Paris shortly after Cousin's death. The later mount consists of layered sheets of paper, including two prints, one of which is a map of the fortified Italian city of Fermo.

Associated names: 

Wolf, Emile, former owner.

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