A Standing Man Holding a Jug
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François BONVIN

A Standing Man Holding a Jug

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

Medium Black, red and white chalk.

Dimension 20.1 x 14.2 cm (7⁷/₈ x 5⁵/₈ inches)

Dated 1876, the present sheet is a fine and typical example of the sort of finished drawing that the artist would have intended for sale. As has been noted of this period of Bonvin’s career, ‘The year 1876 was difficult for the artist, who lost family (his step-mother, Adélaïde Beurier, and his half-brother, Antoine), and his friends [the] painters [Eugène] Fromentin and [Narcisse Virgilio] Diaz. He has several serious flare-ups of his kidney stones, especially in the summer of that year…However, there were also lighter moments in the midst of his gloom. He attended several cheerful meals reuniting old friends…There were some excursions, giving rise to charming scenes… Above all, there was as ‘a nice little success’ with the two paintings sent to the Salon of 1876, two landscapes, or rather, seascapes…the first purchased by Lefebvre, the second by Valancourt, a new friend.’

Stylistically comparable drawings by François Bonvin of the same date include several figure studies - two in the Louvre, one in the Cleveland Museum of Art and one in a private collection - for the now-lost painting Le couvreur tombé (scène d’hôpital), and it is possible that the present sheet may be related to the same composition. 

Le couvreur tombé (The Fallen Roofer) was the only painting Bonvin sent to the Salon of 1877, and no image of the work survives. Indeed, its composition is known only from a description of it in the 1888 sale catalogue of the collection of its first owner, the artist’s friend and neighbour M. Seure, who came to own over fifty paintings by Bonvin. Gabriel Weisberg describes Le couvreur tombé as ‘a multi-figured composition [which] records an accident which has befallen a worker at the moment when, surrounded by companions and gawkers, lying on a stretcher, he is receiving first aid from a doctor.’

Medium: Black, red and white chalk.

Signature: Signed and dated 76. f. Bonvin at the lower right.

Dimension: 20.1 x 14.2 cm (7⁷/₈ x 5⁵/₈ inches)

Provenance: Probably Gustave Tempelaere, Paris
Galerie F. & J. Tempelaere, Paris
Paul Brandt, Amsterdam, in 1977.

Exhibition: Laren, Singer Museum, 19e en 20e eeuwse Franse kunst: aquarellen en tekeningen uit de collectie Paul Brandt, Amsterdam, 1977, no.5.

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Stephen Ongpin Fine Art

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