Charles Nicolas Cochin

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Charles Nicolas Cochin
Christian Soldiers Find a Corpse in Rinaldo's Armor Without Its Head and Right Hand
Black chalk on gray paper; squared in black chalk for transfer.
Full sheet: 4 x 6 1/4 inches (100 x 159 mm); design area: 2 9/16 x 5 1/4 inches (65 x 133 mm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink above design, "CANTO VIII. Ott. 52 / Eclairé du milieu". Collector's mark of the Comte Nicholas A. Koucheleff-Bezborodko stamped in blue at lower right corner (Lugt 1629).

Comte Nicolas A. Koucheleff-Bezborodko, St. Petersburg (Lugt 1629); Comte J.P. van Suchtelen, general and Russian diplomat (Lugt 2332; his mark only on the first page of the album of 102 drawings sold at Sotheby's in 1970); his sale, Paris, 4 June 1862; Cambray and Portalis Collections; Eugène von Wasserman, Brussels; his sale, Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, 24-27 October and 3-5 November 1921, pp. 153-4, no. 954; General Jacques Willems, Brussels; his sale, London, Sotheby's, 9 April 1970, lots 143 and 144; H. Shickman Gallery; Adolphe Stein, Paris; Christian Humann; his sale, New York, Sotheby's, 21 January 1983, no. 75 (nine drawings and two prints); Spencer A. Samuels & Company, Ltd., New York.

Watermark: unidentified fragment.
This sheet belongs to an ensemble of eighteen preparatory sketches (seven for vignettes and eleven for headpieces) for illustrations and two prints after Cochin for an 1784-85 edition of Torquato Tasso's "La Gerusalemme Liberata" published in Paris by François Ambroise Didot. These illustrations were commissioned by Monsieur, the Comte de Provence and the brother of Louis XVI who later reigned as Louis XVIII (1755-1824). The eighteen drawings were part of an album of 102 drawings broken up and sold in several lots by Sotheby's, London, in 1970.
The present sheet is the preparatory drawing for the headpiece to Canto VIII, Ott. 52 of "La Gerusalemme Liberata". The corresponding finished drawing is in the Spencer Collection at the New York Public Library and is signed and dated by the artist.

Associated names: 

Tasso, Torquato, 1544-1595. Gerusalemme liberata.
Koucheleff-Bezborodko, Nicolas A., Comte, 1834-1862, former owner.
Suchtelen, J. P. van, Comte, 1751-1836, former owner.
Wasserman, Eugène von, former owner.
Willems, Jacques, 1870-1957, former owner.
Stein, Adolphe, former owner.