Jean-Jacques Lagrenée

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Jean-Jacques Lagrenée
1739-1821
Cleobis and Biton Leading Their Mother to the Temple of Juno
1764
Pen and black ink, brown wash, and white gouache (partly oxidized), on blue prepared paper.
13 1/8 x 19 /16 inches (334 x 485 mm)
Purchased on the Director's Fund in honor of Otto and Marguerite Manley.
1986.24
Inscription: 

Signed and dated at lower right in pen and brown ink, "lagrenně 1764"; at lower left in red chalk, "Vassé" (Louis-Claude Vassé, 1716-1772, was named professor at the Académie in 1761 and passed on this design).

Provenance: 
Galerie Cailleux, Paris.
Bibliography: 

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 355.

Notes: 

Watermark: fleur-de-lis with shell-shaped bottom.
Lagrenee's 1764 depiction of the moralizing tale of the ancient Greek brothers Cleobis and Biton is already in tune with the later tenor of neoclassicist subjects: an example of filial devotion, the brothers pulled their mother's chariot to the Temple of Juno. The drawing was most likely executed in preparation for the artist's presentation piece to the Academy in 1763--it is signed at lower left by Louis Claude Vassé, the professor responsible for approving the candidates' compositions--although whether the painting was ever executed is unknown.

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