Gilles-Marie Oppenord

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Gilles-Marie Oppenord
Design for a Title Page, with Warrior Heading into Battle
ca. 1732-42
Pen and point of brush and black ink and wash, some brown ink, over graphite, on paper.
6 1/16 x 8 1/2 inches (153 x 216 mm)
Gift of the Fellows.

Obliterated inscription at upper center.

Charles-Eugene Berard (1838-1890s), Paris; his sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 16-20 February 1891, lot 301 A-B; Armand Sigwalt (1875-1952), Paris (Lugt 175); Henri Baderou (1910-1991), Paris.

Adams, Frederick B., Jr. Fourteenth Annual Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1965 & 1966. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1967, p. 120.
Pierpont Morgan Library. Review of Acquisitions, 1949-1968. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1969, p. 157.
Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 109.


Watermark: none visible through lining.
This is the preparatory sketch for a title-page, depicting a Roman soldier on a chariot, which may have been intended for a heroic tale of the antique, such as Virgil's "Aeneid". The finished design for the same title-page by Oppenord is also in the Morgan's collection (Acc. No. 1964.23).
At left, two lions tussle above a heap of Roman military trophies including helmets, armor, shields, fasces, torches and lances. At right, a horse follows the onrush of soldiers to the battlefield while a winged boy blows a trumpet heralding the attack.
One of the leading architects and designers of interiors during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, Oppenord produced a large number of designs for book illustrations toward the end of his career. Neither of the two frontispiece projects documented in the Morgan's collection were realized in print.

Associated names: 

Bérard, Charles-Eugène, former owner.
Sigwalt, Armand, former owner.