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Louis Gauffier*(French, 1761-1801)

Cornelia presenting her two young Sons

inscribed 'PUBLIO SCIPIO AFRICANUS CORNELIAE PATER.' and 'AEMILIANUS SCIPIO AFRICANUS ET NUMANTINUS'; black chalk, pen and black ink, brown and gray wash heightened with white, watermark cartouche on paper
13½ x 20 3/8in. (345 x 522mm.)

Lot Essay

Born in Poitiers, Gauffier came to Paris to study under Hughes Taraval for the Prix de Rome that he won in 1784, the same year as Jean-Germain Drouais. He was accepted at the Académie on 24 August 1789 although he never actually became an academician since he never left Italy. He lived in Rome until 1793, until the persecutions against the French became too oppressive. He then found refuge in Florence where he met his compatriot François-Xavier Fabre, and like him, painted portraits of the English tourists passing through the city. Under the framer's label glued on the backing of the present drawing is another label, showing the coat of arms of England which could reveal an English provenance.
A picture by Gauffier of the same subject is in Fontainebleau and a number of his drawings are in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, J. Vilain, Le Néo-Classicisme français, Dessins des Musées de Provinces, exhib. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1974, nos. 51-55, illustrated.

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