Inscribed in pen and brown ink on support, "347/C 19".
La Fage is a curious character: obsessed with drawing, he never learned to paint. The two battle scenes in the Morgan's collection, executed on costly and precious vellum, reflect his engagement with Parisian classicism and pagan subjects. Proficiently composed and carefully refined, these compositions were conceived to please Parisian collectors and antiquarians. The present sheet and inv. III, 87 were described in the 1807 Knapton-Morrison sale as “a pair--the wounded Porus brought to Alexander; and Alexander's triumphal entry into Babylon--fine spirited pen, and Ind. Ink, on vellum, highly finished, and most capital of the master.” The subjects stem from tales of Alexander the Great's conquest of India and defeat of King Porus at the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BCE. As Alain Combres notes, La Fage explored Alexander's adventures in a number of fine drawings, likely inspired by Gerard Audran's prints published in 1672-78, which reproduced Charles Le Brun's monumental cycle of four paintings devoted to Alexander, executed in 1665-1673.
Morrison, Knopton, former owner.
Peters, Mrs., former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.