black chalk heightened with white chalk on blue paper, shaped as a triangular pediment;
bears old attribution in pencil on verso: 'Pierre Prud'hon fec'
Dimensions: sheet: 4 1/2 by 18 3/4 in.; 11.5 by 46.4 cm.
Condition Report: Hinge mounted to a modern mount. The sheet has been laid down onto a paper backing and then made up (recto) in the form of a triangular pediment. There is some very minor foxing to the blue mount, however the drawing itself remains in very fine condition, with the paper retaining a vivid blue colour and the medium strong and vibrant throughout. Sold in a giltwood frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Exhibited: Possibly Paris, '
Salon', 1804, no. 189 (as Augustin-Félix Fortin);
Providence, Rhode Island School of Design, '
From the Age of David to the Age of Picasso: French Drawings from a Private Collection', 1984, no. 40 (as Attributed to Pierre-Paul Prud’hon).
Literature: J. Guiffrey, '
L'oeuvre de P.P. Prud'hon', Paris 1924, p. 343, no. 911 (as Pierre-Paul Prud'hon);
P. Sorel, "Un projet de fronton pour l’ancien Hôtel-Dieu de Paris", '
Gazette des Beaux-Arts', CXVIII, October 1991, p. 146, note 12.
Provenance: Boguslaw Jolles, Munich;
His sale, Munich, Hugo Helbing's, 28-31 October 1895, lot 1277 (as Pierre-Paul Prud'hon);
Anonymous sale, Munich, Karl and Faber, 21 October 1965, lot 538 (as Pierre-Paul Prud'hon);
Emile Wolf, New York;
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Request more information
The present drawing, long given to Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (see
) and historically associated with his unrealised pediment project for the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, had, until the recent reappearance on the French art market of Prud'hon's actual drawing for this project
(Guiffrey no. 910), been widely considered an autograph work.
Likewise, much of the long held assumption that all works relating to the Hôtel-Dieu project, must in some way be associated with Prud'hon, stemmed from the very fact that the commission lay in the hands of Nicolas Frochot, Préfet de la Seine, who, it was assumed, immediately handed the project to his close friend, Prud'hon.2 This nepotistic arrangement seems, however, to have been undermined by the presence in the 1804 Salon of a drawing by the sculptor Augustin-Félix Fortin, clearly described as 'Projets de fronton pour la nouvelle façade de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. Id.' and proof, at the very least, that another artist submitted work for this project.
We are grateful to Sylvain Laveissière for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot and for his suggestion that the present drawing was possibly the one exhibited by Fortin at the Salon of 1804.
1. Anonymous sale, Paris, Laurin, Guilloux, Buffetaud, 25 June 2001, lot 46
2. P. Sorel, Op. cit., p. 141