Description & Technical information

The present sheet may be added to an interesting and distinctive group of independent pen and wash drawings of scenes from classical history, executed by Jacques Gamelin between 1792 and 1795, which are in the same circular format and of similar dimensions. Almost all of these drawings are in the same circular format as the present sheet and of similar dimensions. A large number of these oval drawings – depicting such subjects from Greek and Roman history as Socrates Defends Alcibades, Alexander I of Epirus Killed by the Lucanians, Syphax Taken Prisoner by the Romans and Scipio Africanus Saves his Father - are today in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts on Carcassonne, while others are in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Narbonne. Another drawing from this group is The Death of Cato of Utica, dated 1792, in the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, while several others are in private collections. As an early 20th century scholar has described them, these drawings are among Gamelin’s finest works as a draughtsman: ‘sa riche série de l’histoire ancienne…vivement enlevés, très originalement composés, et montrant sa conception si personnelle des faits de l’antiquite.’

Medium: Pen and black ink and grey wash, and watercolour, within a fictive drawn circular mount with lines in black ink.
Signature: Signed and dated Gamelin inv. / 1792. at the lower centre.

Provenance: Anonymous sale, Caen, 5 December 2015, lot 137
Jean-Claude Delauney, Caen.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints