Jan 7, 2014

The Triumph of Neptune

The Triumph of Neptune

1766 or later

Charles Joseph Natoire

(French, 1700–1777)

Watercolor and black chalk on two sheets of cream laid paper

Image: 23.8 x 34.1 cm (9 3/8 x 13 7/16 in.); Mounted: 34 x 44 cm (13 3/8 x 17 5/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2013.48



Natoire produced this drawing based on a fresco by Guillaume Courtois, known as Il Borgognone (1628–1679), that decorates a vaulted ceiling in the Palazzo Dorio-Pamphili in Valmontone. Carrying his trident, Neptune skims the ocean waves in a chariot attended by the gods Nereus and Oceanus, his son, Triton, and a dolphin. Able to raise tempests and calm the sea, Neptune gestures toward darkened clouds where two blowing faces personify the winds. Natoire’s fluid brushstrokes and vibrant use of color exemplify the characteristic sensuality of his watercolors.

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