Charles LeBrun

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Charles LeBrun
Ceres and Cybele: Study for the Ceiling of the Galerie Lambert, Paris
ca. 1660
Red and white chalk on light brown paper.
9 9/16 x 13 1/4 inches (243 x 337 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
III, 85

Inscribed in brown ink, at lower center, "Eustace Le Seur".
Watermark: Cluster of grapes with open stem, and letters "DOD" above, lined; no exact counterpart in Briquet or Heawood.

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.

Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, III, 85, repr. (as Eustache Le Sueur).


Before he was commissioned to decorate the ceilings at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles, Le Brun worked with the architect Louis le Vau (ca. 1612-1670) on the gallery of Hôtel Lambert, the residence of the wealthy Lambert brothers (1649-62). These two goddesses, seated on a cloud and seen from below, appear on the gallery ceiling as Ceres and Cybele, who are preparing the wedding banquet for Hercules and Megara. Le Brun later reused the figures in his decorative scheme at Vaux-le-Vicomte (1658-61), where they are creatively transformed into an allegory of Peace Restoring Abundance in a panel of the dining room ceiling. -- Exhibition Label, From "Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age"

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Associated names: 

Lesueur, Eustache, 1617-1655, Formerly attributed to.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943, former owner.

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