Antoine Watteau

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Antoine Watteau
Study of a Shell (Cassis inflata)
Red and black chalks on light brown laid paper.
8 7/8 x 8 1/4 inches (226 x 208 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund 1978.

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Watermark: none.
This is one of only eight known shell studies by Watteau, generally believed to have been drawn in 1720, when the artist was convalescing at the home of the picture dealer Gersaint, whose private collection included seashells.


Inscribed on verso, in red chalk, "Watteau".

Camille Groult (1832-1908), Paris; Jean Groult (1868-1951), Paris; Pierre Bordeaux-Groult (1916-2007), Paris; his sale, Paris, Palais d'Orsay, 23 February 1978, no. 8, repr.; acquired from David Carritt Limited, London.
Associated names: 

Groult, Camille, 1832-1908, former owner.
Groult, Jean, 1868-1951, former owner.
Bordeaux-Groult, Pierre, 1916-2007, former owner.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Nineteenth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1978-1980. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981, p. 221.
Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 41.
Denison, Cara D., with Stephanie Wiles and Ruth S. Kraemer. Fantasy and Reality : Drawings from the Sunny Crawford von B|low Collection. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1995, no. 3, repr. in color.
Rosenberg, Pierre and Louis-Antoine Prat. Antoine Watteau 1684-1721, Catalogue raisonné des dessins, 3 vols., Milan, 1996, III, no. R395, p. 1252, repr., and mentioned under no. R43, p. 1160.

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