Natoire, C.-J. The Villa Madama twice signed, dated and inscribed 'C. Natoire 1757 villa madama' and on the rocks on the right 'villa madama Sep t 1757 c.n' black and red chalk, pen and brown ink, brown wash heightened with white on light brown paper 12 x 20.7/8 in. (305 x 530 mm.) PROVENANCE An unidentified collector's mark. NOTES Natoire was initiated in landscape by his first masters Lemoyne and Galloche. Nicolas Vleughels, who was then director of the Acadmie de France, encouraged Natoire to draw landscapes when he was pensionnaire in Rome. Vleughels would often take Natoire, and other fellow pensionnaires such as Delobel, to tour around Rome. Even though Natoire continued to draw landscapes when he went back to Paris, it is only when he returned to Rome in 1752, himself as director of the Acadmie de France, that he executed landscapes on a regular basis. This was for his own enjoyment as was noticed by the Directeur-gnral des Btiments du Roi, the Marquis de Marigny 'Le productions de vos amusements feraient honneur l'application la plus constante et la plus recherche des autres artistes', A. de Montaiglon and J. Guiffrey, Correspondance des directeurs de l'acadmie de France Rome avec les Surintendants des Btiments, Paris, 1857-1908, X, p. 282. Natoire encouraged in turn his pupil, such as Fragonard or Robert toward landscape, often travelling with them around Rome. Hubert Robert made many views of the Villa Madama. One of these drawings, dated 1760, is in the Albertina, illustrated in J. de Cayeux, Les Hubert Robert de la Collection Veyrenc au Muse de Valence, Valence, 1985, fig. 40, along with other views of the villa, figs. 39 and 41. Robert, unlike Natoire, was intrigued by the opposition between the two strong lines of the building and centered the drawing on the villa. Natoire, as often, integrated the building into a wide landscape, adding figures in the foreground to animate the scene. Another view of the Villa Madama by Natoire is in the Albertina, F. Boyer, 'Catalogue raisonn de l'oeuvre de Charles Natoire', Archives de l'Art Franais, 1949, no. 617. Most of Natoire's landscapes were arranged by him in a book 'deux desseins de vues qu j'ay fait dan ces dernires vacances qui est le tems o l'on vas parcourir les dehors de Rome...J'en rassemble quelques morceaux touttes les annes qui me feront peu peu un volume ass interessant', A. de Montaiglon and J. Guiffrey, op. cit., XI, p. 403. These volumes were divided into lots for the sale at Natoire's death, 14 December 1778, lots 210-86, but were bought en bloc by a 'Du Temple'.