Notice des Dessins originaux, Cartons, Gouaches, Pastels, Emaux et Miniatures, du Musée central des Arts. Exposés pour la première fois dans la Galerie d’Apollon. Le 28 Thermidor de l’an V [15 August 1797] de la République Française. Première Partie [all published]. LOUVRE.

Unveiled to the Public

Notice des Dessins originaux, Cartons, Gouaches, Pastels, Emaux et Miniatures, du Musée central des Arts. Exposés pour la première fois dans la Galerie d’Apollon. Le 28 Thermidor de l’an V [15 August 1797] de la République Française. Première Partie [all published].

2 p.l., iv, 108 pp. Small 8vo (152 x 100 mm.), cont. pink paste-paper boards (spine sunned), green morocco lettering-piece on spine. Paris: L’Imprimerie des Sciences et Arts, 1796/97 [An 5].

First edition of this scarce exhibition catalogue, which records the items displayed for the first drawings exhibition held at the Musée central des Arts (now the Louvre). The exhibited items were nearly all drawn from the deposed Louis XVI’s collection and, in many cases, shown to the public for the first time, a detail that the Avertissement underscores.

“Though a handful of drawings had been displayed at the Luxembourg…the exhibition at the Musée central was the first to be devoted exclusively to them…From the three schools 415 drawings were chosen from a collection of more than 11,000…The intent of the exhibition was primarily didactic (…aspiring artists were given privileged access), and the administration even composed an exercise book for use in the gallery. Following the example of the recent Salon exhibition and in anticipation of the Grand Gallery, the drawings were arranged sequentially in schools and vertically according to size.”–A. McClellan, Inventing the Louvre: Art, Politics, and the Origins of the Modern Museum in Eighteenth-Century Paris (1994), pp. 127-28.

This livret catalogues twelve tapestries in the Grand Salon of the museum (with thorough descriptions), 13 portfolios and drawings in the Galerie d’Apollon, along with approximately 427 drawings, enamels, and marble sculptures. It concludes with a lengthy description of the Galerie d’Apollon’s ceiling and the five cartouches found there.

A fine copy that is internally fresh, with interesting provenance. The instruction slip for the binder is bound in at the beginning. Monogram stamp “A D” on half-title of Auguste Gaspard Louis Desnoyers (1779-1857), one of the great engravers of his time and premier Graveur du Roi (see Lugt Marques, 101 & 102).

❧ Marquet de Vasselot, Répertoire des catalogues du Musée du Louvre (1793-1926) (1927), 297.

Price: $750.00

Item ID: 6722

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