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    Sale 2134

    Old Master and 19th Century Drawings

    29 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 52

    FRANCOIS BOUCHER (PARIS 1703-1770)

    A group of seven figures, apparently pausing on a journey

    Price Realised  

    FRANCOIS BOUCHER (PARIS 1703-1770)
    A group of seven figures, apparently pausing on a journey
    black chalk, stumping, on light brown paper
    10 x 16¾ in. (254 x 425 mm.)


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    A study in black, red and white chalk for the same group, but with some differences, is at Frankfurt (inv. 1862; Französische Zeichnungen im Städelschen Kunstinstitut 1550 bis 1800, 1986-7, no. 89). In the Frankfurt sheet, the composition appears to be taken from further away, and the center is occupied by a figure seen from the back who does not appear in the present drawing.
    It is generally considered a study for Boucher's painting of 1769, The Caravan of Gypsies now at Boston (A. Ananoff, François Boucher, Lausanne and Paris, 1976, II, no. 661), and has also been associated by M. Stuffmann with Saint John the Baptist preaching, dated 1761 and executed for the cathedral of Saint-Louis, Versailles (Ananoff, op. cit., no. 562).
    We are grateful to Alastair Laing for confirming the attribution to Boucher. He suggests that the figure of the woman carrying a child in the foreground might have been retouched by another hand.

    Special Notice

    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.