• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1961

    Old Master And 19th Century Drawings

    24 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 71

    Circle of Nicolas Poussin (Les Andelys 1594-1665 Rome)

    Dionysus

    Price Realised  

    Circle of Nicolas Poussin (Les Andelys 1594-1665 Rome)
    Dionysus
    pen and brown ink, brown wash, on light brown paper
    11 x 8¼ in. (279 x 211 mm.)


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    Perhaps by the same hand as the well-known, but anonymous drawing of the antique statues of Castor and Pollux, in the past given to Poussin in Chantilly, Musée Condé (see P. Rosenberg and L.-A. Prat, Nicolas Poussin 1594-1665 Catalogue raisonné des dessins, Milan, 1994, II, pp. 844-5, R.268). The Crocker drawing has the same slightly heavy application of wash within the contour of the figure. An attribution to Jan de Bisschop has also been proposed.
    The figure is based upon an an antique statue of the god Dionysus. It is closest in pose to the Terme type in which one arm is raised above his head, and the other is bent and holding a vessel, bunch of grapes or a thysus. A statue like one which was excavated from the sanctuary of the Liber Pater in the Acquatraversa region near Rome and is now in the Museo Nazionale in Rome might have served as the inspiration or model for the figure in the present drawing (see Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicale, Zurich, 1986, III/1, p. 436; III/2, p. 308, fig. 125).

    Provenance

    R. Houlditch (L. 2214).
    Sir Thomas Lawrence (L. 2445).
    G. Hubert (Lugt 1160).
    William H. Crocker (1861-1937), Burlingame, California; thence by descent to his son
    Charles Crocker (1904-61), San Francisco; thence by descent to the present owners.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE DESCENDENTS OF WILLIAM H. CROCKER (LOTS 38, 45, 47-53, 56, 71 AND 89)


    Exhibited

    On loan to the San Francisco Museum of Art, 1935-36.