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Louis-Joseph le Lorrain (Paris 1715-1759 St Petersburg)
Louis-Joseph le Lorrain (Paris 1715-1759 St Petersburg)

Design for the 'prima macchina' of the Chinea of 1748

Details
Louis-Joseph le Lorrain (Paris 1715-1759 St Petersburg)
Design for the 'prima macchina' of the Chinea of 1748
black chalk, brush and grey ink, grey wash, the lower right corner cut and made up
13¾ x 18 in. (35 x 45.5 cm.)
Provenance
F.J.B. Watson, and thence by descent to the present owner.
Exhibited
Rome, Académie de France (Villa Medici), Dijon, Palais des Etats de Bourgogne, and Paris, Hôtel de Sully, Piranèse et les Français 1740-1790, 1976, no. 106 (catalogue entry by W. Oechslin).

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Lot Essay

One of the rare surviving drawings for the decorations of the Chinea, which is directly preparatory to a print by Le Lorrain (Rome, 1976, op. cit., no. 107). Twice a year, on 29 June and 8 September, a tribute was offered by the kingdom of Naples to the Pope. Generally it was presented by a prince of the house of Colonna and the money was carried on a white mule (chinea). This event was the occasion for creating ephemeral decorations (macchine) which were often commissioned from young French artists studying in Rome at the Académie then installed in the Palazzo Mancini. Le Lorrain contributed at least five designs for macchine, in 1744, 1745, 1746, 1747, and 1748. A drawing by Le Lorrain for the Chinea of 1744 was at Christie's, Paris, 23 March 2006, lot 293. It is now in the Louvre (inv. RF 54415).
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