Louis Boilly

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Louis Boilly
1761-1845.
Studies of Members of the Chenard Family
ca. 1800
Black and white chalk on brown paper.
17 7/8 x 11 11/16 inches (452 x 297 mm)
Thaw Collection.
2017.8
Provenance: 
Alfred de Rothschild (1842-1918), London; his [illegitimate] daughter, Almina Wombwell (1877-1969), 5th Countess of Carnarvon, London; her sale, Christie's, London, 22 May 1925, lot 4; Thos. Agnew's and Sons, Ltd., London; Mrs. John Magee Wyckoff, New York; George Magee Wyckoff; private collection, Connecticut; Clare and Eugene V. Thaw.
Bibliography: 

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 12, repr.
Roland Michel in Cambridge and elsewhere 1998-2000, p. 62, 73 no. 41.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 33.

Notes: 

Watermark: none visible through lining.
This affectionate family portrait depicts the handsome and talented opera singer and actor Simon Chenard (1758-1831), who in 1782 had made his debut as Orestes in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride. Rendered in profile--the only sitter who does not address the artist with his gaze--Chenard is portrayed in the company of his wife, mother, two daughters, two household servants, and a dashing, unidentified woman in hoop earrings, at lower left. The Chenard family lived in the same apartment building as Boilly, and Simon had been named guardian of Boilly's children after the death of the artist's wife in 1795. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

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