Charles LeBrun

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Charles LeBrun
Acquisition of Dunkerque
ca. 1678-84
Black ink wash over black chalk on laid paper.
9 3/4 x 13 inches (246 x 330 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
III, 86a

Inscribed along lower edge at center, in pen and black ink, "Acquisition de Dunkerque"; at right, in a different hand, "C Le Bruyn".

Sir Charles Greville (1763-1832), London (Lugt 549); George Guy, fourth Earl of Warwick (1818-1893), Warwick (Lugt 2600); possibly his sale, Christie's, London, 20-21 May 1896, part of lot 210; Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.

Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 28.
Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 30, repr.


Watermark: none visible through mount.
Le Brun's vast campaign to decorate Versailles and simultaneously glorify the king and his exploits required tremendous pictorial inventiveness. The project, lasting from 1679 to 1684, elevated his status to the most celebrated French painter of his era. The vault of the Grande Galerie was adorned with a painted ceiling divided into multiple panels, including one devoted to Louis XIV's acquisition from the British in 1662 of the coastal city of Dunkerque. France, personified by the seated female warrior, accepts the keys from the kneeling young woman representing the city and shows her the wealth and abundance that would come to Dunkerque as a part of the French state. -- Exhibition Label, From "Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age"

Associated names: 

Greville, Charles, 1762-1832, former owner.
Warwick, George Guy Greville, Earl of, 1818-1893, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

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