Description & Technical information

As has been noted of the artist, ‘Michallon drew a small number of imaginary landscapes in the historical, idealized vein, but the majority of his output was devoted to studies after the motif, made from direct observation. These sheets include some drafted in a clean, simple, and illustrative style; others are more richly evoked, exploring the range of effects generated by chalk or ink.’

Drawn in the year of the artist’s early death, after he had left Italy and returned to France, this atmospheric landscape should be seen as a souvenir of Italy, rather than a strictly topographical view. A stylistically comparable pen and wash drawing – a depiction of The Tomb of Virgil in Naples, also signed and dated 1822 - is in the Louvre. 

The present sheet is likely to have been among the contents of the artist’s studio dispersed in the posthumous vente Michallon of December 1822. It later entered the collection of the Rouen merchant and archaeologist Louis Deglatigny (1854-1936), who assembled an extensive collection of paintings and drawings, as well as books and prints, much of which was sold in five auctions in Paris in 1937. This drawing, however, remained with the collector’s descendants until 2019. 

Medium: Pen and brown ink and brown wash, over a pencil underdrawing.
Signature: Signed and dated Michallon / 1822 at the lower right.
Further inscribed Michallon 1822 on the mount.

Dimensions: 19.2 x 27.2 cm (7¹/₂ x 10³/₄ inches)
Provenance: Probably the posthumous vente Michallon, Paris, Rue de Grenelle-Saint-Germain [Masson de Saint-Maurice], 26-28 December 1822
Louis Deglatigny, Rouen
By descent to his great-grandson, Jean-Claude Delauney, Caen.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints