Hubert François Gravelot

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Hubert François Gravelot
The Emperor of Japan on His Throne
ca. 1770-73
Pen and black ink over graphite, on paper; incised with the stylus.
5 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches (136 x 85 mm)
Gift of John F. Fleming.

Signed in pen and black ink at lower right, "H. Gravelot inven."

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. 13, no. 41.


Gravelot's design is preparatory for an illustration to Act III, Scene IV of Fenouillot de Falbaire de Quingey's tragedy "Les Jammabos, ou, Les Moines Japonais", as published in his "Oeuvres" (Paris : Veuve Duchesne, 1787, facing p. 52). The Emperor of Japan is shown standing in front of his throne, surrounded by the members of his court. It is the more finished of two preparatory drawings for the scene (see also 1963.13:14) engraved by Charles Le Vasseur (1734-1816). For the other six preparatory drawings related to Quingey's "Les Jammabos" see also 1963.13.11, 1963.13:12, 1963.13:13, 1963.13:15, 1963.13:16, and 1968.15:21. As Kraemer noted, “Only two of Gravelot's designs were engraved and appeared in the 1787 two-volume edition of the author's complete works. Although published fourteen years after his death, Gravelot may have worked on these drawings during the last years of his life.”

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.