Charles Nicolas Cochin

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Charles Nicolas Cochin
1715-1790
The Archangel Michael Dispersing with His Lance the Darkness and the Evil Spirits
Black chalk on gray paper; squared in black and red chalk for transfer.
Full sheet: 4 x 6 1/4 inches (102 x 158 mm); design area: 2 11/16 x 5 9/16 inches (68 x 141 mm)
Purchase.
1989.41:10
Inscription: 
Inscribed in pen and brown ink, "CANTO IX. ott. 58 / au dessin 1er - Eclairé d'en haut, du milieu, au dessin, a faire de droitte / a gauche". Collector's mark of the Comte Nicholas A. Koucheleff-Bezborodko stamped in blue at lower right corner (Lugt 1629).
Provenance: 
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.
Notes: 

Watermark: unidentified fragment of letters.
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 edition of Torquato Tasso's "La Gerusalemme Liberata" published by François Ambroise Didot in Paris in 1784-1786. These illustrations were commissioned by Monsieur, the Comte de Provence and the brother of Louis XVI who later reigned as Louis XVIII (1755-1824). These eighteen drawings were part of an album of 102 drawings sold by Sotheby's in London in 1970. The two drawings missing from the group of twenty in the Sotheby's sale of 1970, are now at the Yvonne Tan Bunzl Gallery in London and in a New York private collection. The present sheet is the preparatory drawing for the headpiece to Canto IX, Ott. 58 of "La Gerusalemme Liberata". The corresponding finished drawing for this headpiece is in the Spencer Collection at the New York Public Library and is signed and dated by the artist.

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