Hubert François Gravelot

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Hubert François Gravelot
Two Medallions
ca. 1770
Pen and black ink over graphite, on paper; verso rubbed with black chalk.
7 3/16 x 4 5/16 inches (183 x 110 mm)
Gift of John F. Fleming.
Marie-Joseph-Colombe-Henri-Denis Beccaria de Pavie, Marquis de Fourquevaux (1762-1841), Fourquevaux, France; Emmanuel Bocher (1835-1919), Paris; Léon Olry-Roederer (1869-1932), Paris; A.S.W. Rosenbach (1876-1952), Philadelphia; John Fleming (1910-1987), New York.

Kraemer, Ruth S. "Drawings by Gravelot in the Morgan Library." Master drawings, XX (Spring 1982), p. 12, no. 36, reproduced plate 11.


Gravelot's sketch was probably intended for an engraved illustration to Abbé Jean Raymond de Petity's "Les Voeux de la France et de l'Empire...." (Paris : 1770). The sheet contains two medallion designs, the upper one featuring a Minerva-like goddess with a shield and spear triumphing over three female figures symbolizing vice. The lower design depicts a seated nude woman being crowned by a winged genius. According to Ruth Kraemer, “The double-headed eagle on the shield next to the nude woman certainly links the drawing to Marie Antoinette, a Hapsburg princess.” The Morgan preserves two further designs for Petity's publication: see 1963.13:20 and 1968.15:39.
Kraemer, discussing a related sketch in the Morgan's collection (1968.15:39), remarked that “the subject of the two sketches on one sheet (1963.13:19) may be considered another version of the theme of “A Benign Goddess” (une Déesse Bienfaisante)--a reference, of course, to Marie Antoinette--mentioned in the text to pl. vi of Petity's book. Gravelot's first ideas most likely were changed in accordance with the author's wishes.”

Associated names: 

Fourquevaux, Joseph de Beccarie de Pavie, marquis de, 1762-1841, former owner.
Bocher, Emmanuel, 1835-1919, former owner.
Olry-Roederer, Léon, 1869-1932, former owner.
Rosenbach, A. S. W. (Abraham Simon Wolf), 1876-1952, former owner.
Fleming, John F. (John Francis), 1910-1987, former owner.