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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Portrait of a young man in a landscape, probably Auguste Labadye the artist's brother; three-quarter length, leaning against a tree, arms crossed, holding walking stick and glove in right hand. 1797 Charcoal, with stump, heightened with white

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1797
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 295 millimetres
    • Width: 227 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed and dated: " Labadie 1797 "
  • Curator's comments

    Little is known about Charles Toussaint Labadye, who died at the age of only 28 in 1798. He had been a pupil of the Neoclassical painter François-André Vincent (1746-1816) in the late 1780s and had competed at the final stage of the Concours de Rome in 1793. He was not the successful applicant, however. A number of his portraits were exhibited at the Salon in 1798, including portraits of the deputies of the French Assemblée.

    The sitter in this portrait was unknown at the time it entered the British Museum collection, but there was a reference to an old inscription on the back. The drawing is still fully laid down on its original board, similar to those sometimes used by Ingres. When the board was removed from its mount in 2016, in preparation for exhibition, it was possible to study the inscription, which is in an early 19th-century hand and reads 'Auguste Labadye Architecte'.

    Jean Baptiste Auguste Labadye (1777-1851) was both a practising architect and a teacher of architectural theory, who designed a number of public buildings including a theatre and its square at Le Havre. The theatre was built, and opened in 1823 but it was destroyed by fire in 1843. He also submitted designs in competitions for the Arc de Triomphe (in 1803) and for the tomb of the Empress Joséphine. He was appointed a member of the Légion-d'Honneur and a Knight of the Order of the Lion (or Order of Merit) of Limburg. The latter was an order founded in the duchy of Limburg to recognise the talents of artists, scientists and men of letters. He is buried at Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

    Isabelle Michalon, who presented a paper on Charles Toussaint Labadye at the Salon du Dessin conference in Paris in March 2016, has confirmed that Auguste was the younger brother of Charles Toussaint. He would have been 20 years old at the date of the portrait and it seems highly likely that he is the sitter. Michalon also notes that the style of the signature is unusual, taking a form (with an 'i' not a 'y' in Labadie) that Labadye only adopted on two occasions: the BM sheet and one other. Both are highly finished portrait drawings dated 1797. The reason for this change, in the last year of the artist's life, is not currently known.

    Isabelle Michalon has also kindly provided us with other information, which will be made available after the publication of her paper later in 2016.



  • Location

    Not on display (French Roy XIXc)

  • Exhibition history

    2016-17 Sept-Jan, BM, 'French Portrait Drawings' (no cat)

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • 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.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Portrait of a young man in a landscape; TQL, leaning against a tree, arms crossed, holding walking stick and glove in r hand.  1797 Charcoal, with stump, heightened with white


Portrait of a young man in a landscape; TQL, leaning against a tree, arms crossed, holding walking stick and glove in r hand. 1797 Charcoal, with stump, heightened with white

Image description



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