Hubert François Gravelot

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Hubert François Gravelot
Hilaritas Universa
ca. 1770
Pen and black ink over graphite, on paper; incised with the stylus.
4 x 3 11/16 inches (101 x 93 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. 11, no. 35; reproduced plate 10b.


Gravelot's design is preparatory for an engraved medallion entitled "Hilaritas Universa", illustrating Abbé Jean Raymond de Petity's "Les Voeux de la France et de l'Empire..." (Paris : 1770; p. v). This decoratively framed oval drawing shows a seated goddess regarding herself in a mirror, flanked by two putti; in the background, figures are shown variously seated at a table and dancing in a ring in the countryside. The engraving was executed by Pierre Chenu. The Abbé de Petity was the Queen's Preacher (Prédicateur de la Reine). According to Ruth Kraemer, "Three more designs in medallion form, two of them on one sheet, have also been tentatively connected with Petity's "Les Voeux de la France et de l'Empire": one of the previous owners of the drawings noted in graphite on the old mats, "Petity" with a question mark. Evidently they were not used in the small printed volume published on the occasion of the marriage of the Dauphin, the later Louis XVI, and Marie Antoinette. The similar decoration around the medallions certainly seems to connect the four drawings. Also, 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.