A Drawing by Ingres and a Louis XIV Chest

On 24 January 2020, by Philippe Dufour

An extraordinary drawing by the brilliant herald of neoclassicism stood out in this diverse group.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), Studies of figures, black pencil, four drawings mounted together as a large piece, signed "Ingres", 35.5 x 41.5 cm.
Result: €133,920

Turning his back on odalisques and women of the world, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres illustrated the childhood of Christ in these black pencil Studies of Figures. The four glued sheets are preparatory drawings for one of the great religious paintings, Jesus Among the Doctors, that kept him quite busy from 1830 to 1860. Today on display at the Ingres Bourdelle Museum in Montauban, it was begun in 1842 and finished in 1862. Featuring brilliant draperies and sensitive expressions, the sketch sparked a fierce bidding war peaking at €133,920, far outstripping the maximum estimate of €50,000. Fortunately, this drawing entered a French collection. So did the next item, for which bidders in the United States, England and France competed: a lavish Louis XIV inlaid chest (26.5 x 52 x 36 cm) that fetched €32,240. Graced with a naturalistic "jasmine flower" motif, it can be traced back to the achievements of the Royal Cabinetmaker Pierre Gole.

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