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A New Le Brun

Published on , by Céline Piettre
Auction on 28 March 2019 - 18:30 (CET) - Salle 9 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

Under the supervision of Grégoire Lacroix, the newly appointed head of the Old Master Painting and Drawing department at Aguttes, this sale on the fringe of the Salon du Dessin (see page 84) will unveil many top-quality drawings among its 150 lots. One by Charles Le Brun is a preparatory study for the stucco work of the...

Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), preparatory study for the stucco-work in the ceiling... A New Le Brun
Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), preparatory study for the stucco-work in the ceiling of the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre Palace, pen, black ink, grey and brown wash, gold and watercolour highlights on paper, 28 x 16 cm. Annotated "Le Brun fecit " on the bottom left of the mount and "angle du plafond" (corner of the ceiling) on the bottom right.
Estimate: €40,000/60,000.

Under the supervision of Grégoire Lacroix, the newly appointed head of the Old Master Painting and Drawing department at Aguttes, this sale on the fringe of the Salon du Dessin (see page 84) will unveil many top-quality drawings among its 150 lots. One by Charles Le Brun is a preparatory study for the stucco work of the ceiling in the Louvre's Apollo Gallery: an extremely rare piece, because on the artist's death in 1690 all his drawings automatically went to the Cabinet du Roi. When he obtained the privileged position of "First Painter to Louis XIV", Le Brun was commissioned by Colbert to devise the decoration for the former Galerie des Rois, ravaged by fire in 1661. (A project prefiguring the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, which remained partly unfinished until revived in the 18th century and completed in the 19th.) The iconography was designed to glorify Louis XIV, and mainly focused on the beneficial effects of the sun, represented by the god Apollo. Four sculptors (François Girardon, the two Marsy brothers and Thomas Regnaudin) were in charge of the stuccos, based on models provided by Le Brun. Girardon could well have kept this drawing in his studio, which would explain how it escaped the King's pre-emption and was thus not stored with its fellows in the Musée du Louvre's drawing department. Hunting for any traces of it in situ is a lost cause. The central compartment of the gallery, designed to be held up by two Atlases, was left empty until the mid-19th century, when it received Eugène Delacroix's famous "Apollo Vanquishing the Python". Recently identified in a collection in the south of France, it is the sort of royal commission piece hardly ever found in private hands. 

Thursday 28 March 2019 - 18:30 (CET) - Live
Salle 9 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009
Aguttes
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