- Museum number
Head of a bearded man in profile to left, looking up: fragment of a cartoon for the fresco of 'St Augustine on his death bed healing a youth'. 1703-4
Charcoal, black and white chalk, indented for transfer, on two conjoined sheets of light brown paper
- Production date
Height: 455 millimetres
Width: 604 millimetres (max, arched, corner made up)
- Curator's comments
- A cartoon for the head of the father holding up his sick son in Louis de Boullogne's painting of 'St Augustine on his deathbed healing a sick youth' in the chapel of St Augustine in the Dome Church of the Invalides in Paris. The lines behind the man's shoulder correspond to Augustine's crozier in the fresco which is still in situ in the church. The commission was one of four chapels decorated in the period 1702-1704 by Louis de Boullogne; his brother Bon (chapel of St Ambrose); Michel Corneille (St Gregory, repainted by Doyen due to water damage between 1765-1772) and Charles Poërson (St Jerome later replaced by frescoes by Bon de Boullogne).
Louis de Boullogne's preliminary studies for the commission are brought together by Hèléne Guicharnaud, 'Louis de Boullogne's Drawings for the Chapel of St. Augustine in the Dome Church of the Invalides', "Master Drawings", 1994, pp. 3-25. A study for the head of the same figure shown in the present cartoon is in the Louvre (Idem no. 15, fig. 23).
There is no mention of the present work in the 1994 article, although she does cite Dezallier d'Argenville's praise for the cartoons made for the frescoes; 'Les cartons pour la chapelle des Invalides, offrent des figures deux fois grandes comme nature, et dessinées à la pierre noire relevée de blanc: le grand caractère des têtes, leur expression, l'élévation de la pensée, une touche aussi hardie que spirituelle y caractérisent le grand homme' (A-J. Dezallier d'Argenville, 'Abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres: avec leurs portraits gravés en taille-douce, les indications de leurs principaux ouvrages, quelques réflexions sur leurs caractères, et la manière de connoître les desseins et les tableaux des grands maîtres', Paris, 1762, IV, p. 268).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995-6 Nov-Apr, BM, Recent Acquisitions (no cat.)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number