Red, black, and white chalk with stumping
Support: Gray-brown laid paper, laid down on beige laid paper
Sheet: 25.1 x 18.9 cm (9 7/8 x 7 7/16 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.342
The most important French painter of his generation, Antoine Coypel worked during the period of transition from the monarchy of Louis XIV (reigned 1643-1715) through the Regency (1715-1723) and the ascendance of Louis XV (reigned 1715-1774). A beautiful colorist also steeped in the academic tradition of drawing, Coypel used red, black, and white chalk together on this sheet to achieve tonal range. The drawing is connected to Coypel's greatest achievement: the series of large painted decorations for the Gallery of Aeneas in the Palais Royal in Paris. This study of facial expression shows one of the mourners attending the funeral of Pallas, a scene from Virgil's (70-19 bc) Aeneid. Though this painting still exists in the collection of the Louvre Museum, it is in a ruined state. Most of the paintings for the Gallery of Aeneas did not survive at all, but there are numerous drawings for the project.
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