• Sale 2535

    Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors

    26 January 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 122

    Jacques-Louis David (Paris 1748-1825 Brussels)

    Alexander ordering the books of Homer to be preserved (recto); Study of a triumphal procession with a subsidiary study of the figure of Alexander (verso)

    Price Realised  

    Jacques-Louis David (Paris 1748-1825 Brussels)
    Alexander ordering the books of Homer to be preserved (recto); Study of a triumphal procession with a subsidiary study of the figure of Alexander (verso)
    with inscription 'Vatican' (recto)
    black chalk, pen and black ink, grey wash (recto), black chalk, pen and brown ink (verso)
    5 x 7½ in. (13 x 19 cm.)


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    This drawing, a copy after a fresco from Raphael's studio in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, was originally part of David's Roman albums. Back from his long sojourn in Italy, David regrouped the drawings he had made there - mostly copies after the antique and the Masters - in two albums organized thematically (for the history and reconsctruction of the Roman albums, see Rosenberg and Prat, op. cit., I, pp. 391-406 and II, pp. 779-83). This drawing, was, for example, on page 105, in a section devoted to drawings of groups of figures. David used the albums during all his career as a source of inspiration. At David's death, his sons Jules and Eugène signed with their monograms each of the drawings and decided, undoubtedly for commercial reasons, to dismember the original albums and to reorganize all the pages in twelve new albums where the thematical order was broken. The present drawing ended up on page 2 of Album 10, which was itself dismembered in the 1950's.
    On the verso, David has made a larger a study, with a few differences, of the figure of Alexander from the composition copied on the recto. The artist later used it with differences (most importantly in the position of the head) for the figure of Alexander in his drawing of 1779, Alexander at the deathbed of the wife of Darius, now in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (Rosenberg and Prat, op. cit, no. 30).

    Provenance

    Eugène David (L. 838) and Jules David (L. 1437); by descent to
    Marquise de Ludre (the artist's great-great granddaughter); Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 15 March 1956, lot 11 (part of Album 10).
    with Gallery Jacques Seligmann, New York (cat. Master Drawings, 1960, no. 9).
    G. Seligman, New York (L. online 3863).
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 12 December 1978, lot 126.
    with Chaucer Galleries, London, 1979 (cat. no. 18).
    Mr. and Mrs. Norman D. Hutchinson.
    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 10 July 2002, lot 224, where acquired by the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN


    Literature

    David et Rome, exhib. cat., Rome, Académie de France à Rome, 1981, p. 68, no. 19.
    P. Rosenberg and L.-A. Prat, Jacques-Louis David 1748-1825. Catalogue raisonné des dessins, Milan, 2002, I, no. 1023.


    Exhibited

    Paris, Grand Palais, Raphael et l'art français, 1983, no. 61.