skip to Main Content
A New Selection of Old Master Drawings
Exhibition from 14 May to 21 May 2022
Henri-Pierre Danloux (1753 – 1809)
The Pleasant Surprise
Black chalk and gray wash
435 X 353 mm (17 1/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

In 1782, Danloux exhibited at the Salon de la Correspondance an erotic painting described as a Young Woman Seated on a Sofa and Reading a Letter with Great Interest; a Young Man Placed behind her, Tries to Guess, without her Suspecting it, What is the Subject? This last painting, related to the present sheet, was in the collection of Jean-Paul-André des Razins, marquis de Saint-Marc (Saint-Selve, 1728 – 1818 Bordeaux), before it was engraved under the more concise title, The Pleasant Surprise (La Surprise agréable). The engraving of Danloux's composition is dated 1789. It is to this period that we can date our drawing which is preparatory to the etching. The engraver, Pieter Hendrik Jonxis (Utrecht, 1757 – id., 1843) interprets the drawing very carefully, but some differences remain, for example the rosette of the guitar and the unveiling of the young woman's breasts. The fine execution of the drawing and the representation of a sensual genre scene make our sheet a unique example in the graphic work of Danloux.

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)
Portrait of Pauline Villot as a Moroccan
Pen, brown ink
175 x 127 mm

Provenance :
Stamp of the workshop (L. 838a)
Collector’s mark (not in Lugt)

The features of the model and the technique of our portrait can be related to a drawing kept at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, which represents Pauline Villot (Paris, 1812 – id., 1875) in an Algerian costume. A draughtsman, she was the wife of Frédéric Villot (Liège, 1809 – Paris, 1875), engraver and close friend of Delacroix.

Delacroix's letters and diary underline a different relationship with Pauline Villot, far from the donjuanesque — not to say misogynistic — behavior usually given to the painter. Delacroix was in love with Pauline and, if there is to date no proof of an affair, the feeling was probably shared. Indeed, Pauline Villot in turn sketched Delacroix in a Moroccan costume, with the signature "Pauline" inscribed in place of the heart of her model. These portraits, including our drawing, can then be perceived as a game between lovers, where the attraction for the Orient and a fashionable exoticism disguise a secret passion whose interest occupied a significant place in the work. of the painter, and no doubt in his heart.
Francesco Monti (1685 – 1768)
Marsyas, after the Sculpture by Pierre Le Gros
Red chalk, white chalk on yellow prepared paper
495 x 304 mm (19 ½ x 12 in.)

Francesco Monti was a prolific draftsman. The artist distinguished himself by his use of colored paper, often prepared, and white chalk, drawn with a very fine and vibrant line, giving crystalline effects to the light. If Monti drew mainly in black chalk and sometimes charcoal, he also used red chalk. Three other drawings executed in red and white chalk on yellow prepared paper by the artist are known: The Immaculate Conception and Jesus Chasing the Merchants from the Temple, both at the Academy of Carrara, as well as Cain and Abel in a private collection. Strong expression, sometimes almost violent in feeling, characterize Monti's drawings.

Our drawing is a study made after the sculpture Marsyas by Pierre Le Gros (1666-1719), or one of the many versions or casts of the sculpture. The sculpture appears to have been executed around 1715. Le Gros’ Marsyas was highly appreciated in the eighteenth century. Copies have been found in England, France, and northern Italy.
Johann Heinrich Schönfeld (1609-1682)
Venus and Adonis
Pen and brown ink, brown wash
210 x 321 mm (8 ¼ x 12 5/8 in.)
Inscribed on the verso in pen and brown ink: Ex Coll. H. Homat Jeod : / Jean Rotterhamer

Provenance:
Private collection, Italy

The present drawing Venus and Adonis belongs to the early work of the great German Baroque artist Johann Heinrich Schönfeld. The work is characteristic of the artist's graphic production before his departure for Italy in 1630. It can be compared to two known drawings from this period: Venus and Cupid from the Augsburg Graphishe Sammlung in which cupid's head seems to be symmetrically identical to that of our drawing, and A River God from the Stuttgart Graphishe Sammlung, in which the loose and intense hatching is similar to that of our sheet. These two drawings, dated 1629, allow us to date the execution of our sheet at the same period.

Schonfeld’s early drawings have several common characteristics: the figures have elongated proportions, they are of great sensuality, and the contours in pen and ink are placed in a precise manner. These drawings testify to the interest of the young Schönfeld for the Mannerist artists of the School of Prague and Haarlem, such as Joseph Heintz, Bartolomeüs Spranger, and Hendrick Goltzius
NATHALIE MOTTE MASSELINK