Charles LeBrun

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Charles LeBrun
A Caryatid
Black chalk on laid paper; incised for transfer with stylus.
12 1/2 x 13 7/8 inches (318 x 352 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman.

Inscribed at upper right within cartouche, "ILLUSTRI" (cut off); on verso, "CR 25" (canceled), "BP 70", and "filigrane".
Watermark: Fleur-de-lis in shield surmounted by crown, letters in cartouche below. Watermark is placed across chain lines.

Nicos Dhikeos (1896-1987), Lyon (Lugt 3529); Christophe Janet Gallery, New York.

Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 29, repr.


Before Le Brun left for Rome with Poussin in 1642, he executed this design for a print to adorn the theological thesis of Jean Ruze d'Effiat, who would be appointed the abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel that year. The grand format necessitated several sheets of paper joined together. The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses a sheet that corresponds to the lower portion of the print (inv. 1974.106). In the segment shown in the Morgan drawing, a caryatid, a symbol of peace and abundance, supports the architectural surround. The Metropolitan Museum drawing depicts the lower portion of the composition, in which the figures of Mars and Apollo flank a ship's prow that bears a coat of arms with a shield and ducal crown surmounted by a cardinal's hat--a reference to Cardinal Richelieu, to whom d'Effiat dedicated his thesis.

Associated names: 

Dhikeos, Nikos, former owner.
Janet, Christophe, former owner.
Wrightsman, Jayne, donor.

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