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drawing / album

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Dedication by Bouchardon to his friend Pierre Jean Mariette inscribed on a tablet beneath a medallion portrait of Louis XV; palm leaves and laurel branches surround the medallion, which stands against a background of fleur-de-lys; two festoons of leaves rest on the upper part of the tablet, which is decorated with two rosettes in the top corners; hanging festoon on either side of the tablet; within decorative border, each corner marked by a scallop shell Red chalk; pasted on brown paper


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1730-1740 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 233 millimetres (image size)
    • Width: 211 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed in red ink and light red wash: 'RECUEIL / DE DESSEINS / FAITS PAR EDME / BOUCHARDON / DONT IL A FAIT PRESENT / A SON AMI / MARIETTE'.
  • Curator's comments

    From an album containing 60 prints engraved by the Comte de Caylus and known as 'Les Cris de Paris', alternating with the corresponding drawing. The prints are in reverse.

    Bouchardon's drawings for the Cris de Paris were executed in the 1730s; the sixty prints were etched by Caylus, finished by Fessard (although his name only appears on the title-pages to suites 3, 4 and 5) and published by the same in five 'suites' of twelve plates each. The first suite was advertised in 'Mercure' (November 1737) and included 'un Chaudronnier, un Tailleur de Pierre, une Revendeuse, Décrotteur, Porteur d'eau, Savoyard, Crocheteur, Garçon boulanger'; the second suite (December 1737), 'une Laitière, une Tisanière, une Vendeuse de poisson, un Aveugle, une Huîtriere, un Rémouleur, un Tonnelier'; the third suite (September 1738), 'la Lanterne magique, le Vinaigrier, la Vendeuse de cerneaux, la Balayeuse, l' Écureuse, etc'. The remaining two suites were advertised in August 1742 and in November 1746, respectively.
    The etchings inspired a set of porcelain figures created by Johann Joachim Kaendler at Meissen c.1745.

    Bouchardon also gave a set of 60 offsets of the drawings to P.J. Mariette in whose Paris 1775 sale they are recorded as lot 1150. Mariette's counterproofs were later seen in the collection of Augustin de Saint-Aubin (Bocher, 1879, p.242).
    The BM album opens with a dedication page to Mariette, whose ownership of the sheet is reinforced by the presence of his mark (L.1852). However, rather than hinting at the fact that the BM drawings could be the aforementioned set of counterproofs rather than the original drawings, it is more likely that this dedication page is a later addition which bears no relation to the BM drawings (none of which, incidentally, are stamped with Mariette's mark). This is reinforced by the fact that the dedication sheet is of a different size and had to be folded to fit in the album. See: K. T. Parker 'Bouchardon's 'Cries of Paris", in Old Master Drawings, V, no.19, December 1930, pp.45-48.
    The Bibliothèque Nationale keeps a volume of drawings (Oa. 132 a rés., in-4o) which, although recorded in the IFF (Caylus, Nos.59-63) as the originals, appear to be counterproofs of the red chalk drawings, and red & black chalk copies with their counterproofs (information: Barbara Brejon de Lavergne & Jude Talbot, 2011).

    The drawings and the prints are kept in an album; they are preceded by a drawn frontispiece dedicated to Mariette (1857,0613.733) and an engraved portrait of Bouchardon by Charles Nicolas Cochin (1857,0613.672). The drawings are laid down on brown paper within drawn borders and alternate with the corresponding prints. All the prints are bound directly into the album, which is half-bound in red leather and green boards, with gilt ruling and gold tooling, with the title "CRIS/DE/PARIS" on the spine, and which is kept in a wooden box covered in green leather. The binding appears to be from the late 18th/early 19th century, and the dedication page has been folded to fit into the volume.

    One of the blank leaves (at the front of the album) has a sheet of paper tipped in quoting an entry for 1765 from the 'Mémoires et Journal de J. G. Wille Graveur du Roi, Paris 1857' relating how the engraver unsuccessfully tried to buy the drawings at the Caylus sale, thus informing us on the early ownership of the original drawings: 'Novembre 1765, Le 18. Tous ces jours-cy j'allai, soir et matin, assister à la vente des effets de feu M. le conte de Caylus de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres et de l'Académie royale de peinture. Il y avait là un volume contenant les soixante desseins que Mr. Bouchardon avoit dessinés d'après nature (représentant les Cris de Paris) pour M. le Comte de Caylus, que celui-cy grava il y a plus de vingt ans. Ces desseins me plurent tant, que je les poussai à douze cent livres; mais ils furent adjugés à douze cent trente-cinque livres à un Abbé Grimau, mais ils étoient pour M. de la Reinière, à ce qu'on assuroit.'


    Lit.: P. Stein, in exhib. cat., New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and London, BM, 'French Drawings from Clouet to Seurat', 2005, no.45, 'Garçon Boulanger' (with previous lit. for album).

    Unlike many sculptors who left only a small graphic oeuvre, Bouchardon was among the most prolific and admired draughtsmen of the eighteenth century. Over 500 sheets by his hand figured in the collection of Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774), who described them as fetching prices equivalent to their weight in gold.(n.1) Even while he was still officially a student in Rome, the effortless verisimilitude of his red chalk copies and académies, with their confident and supple quality of line, exerted an influence widely felt among a generation of artists. Bouchardon's Roman period lasted nine years (1723-32), during which time he not only absorbed the lessons of antiquity, the Renaissance and the Baroque but was also busy with commissions, mostly for portrait busts, from both the French and British communities in Rome.(n.2) Back in France he only began to receive major sculptural commissions from 1739: the Rue de Grenelle fountain, `Cupid Cutting a Bow out of Hercules' Club (Musée du Louvre, Paris), and the equestrian statue of Louis XV (destroyed 1792).

    During the 1730s, when he was underemployed as a sculptor, Bouchardon channelled considerable energy into drawing projects, including the sixty designs he made for the `Études prises dans le bas Peuple, ou les Cris de Paris` (studies made among the common folk), etched by his friend and champion, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières, the Comte de Caylus, and published in five suites of twelve prints between 1737 and 1746. The entire set of sixty drawings has been preserved together, apparently bound in an album since the eighteenth century, interleaved with the prints for which they are studies. The etchings, which reverse the compositions of the drawings, are the work of the Comte de Caylus, amateur printmaker, antiquarian, collector and writer on the arts,(n.3) and were retouched and published by Etienne Fessard (fig.1). Bouchardon apparently gave the drawings to Caylus and a set of counterproofs to Mariette, in whose sale they appear.(n.4)

    Given the shared antiquarian interests of Bouchardon and Caylus, it is surprising to find their joint endeavour distinguished by down-to-earth, un-idealized embodiments of each profession. Standing out from the theatrical, even comic, tradition of portraying street criers,(n.5) the `Etudes` have a poignancy owing to their very particularity. They evoke real individuals and real labour, stressing the exhaustion that comes from repetitive work rather than its picturesque appeal. The boy delivering bread does not seek to engage the viewer, but plods along, staring at the ground ahead of him. Bouchardon's series has elicited comparisons with Chardin's sympathetic domestic genre scenes, the earliest examples of which date to the mid-1730s. Stylistically, Bouchardon's drawings retain the visual sensibility of a sculptor. The insistent, albeit elegant, outline, and the effective use of hatching for shading, all crisply delineate the figure from the background, the mass from the void.

    Text by P. Stein, 2005 as cited above.

    Fig.1 ANNE-CLAUDE-PHILIPPE DE TUBIERES, COMTE DE CAYLUS (1692-1765), after EDME BOUCHARDON, `Garçon Boulanger`, c.1737, etching, first suite `Cris de Paris`, 235 x 185 mm, British Museum (1857,0613.684).

    1 P. de Chennevières and A. de Montaiglon (eds), ``Abécédario`de P. J. Mariette`, vols
    1-6, Paris, 1851-60 (reprinted 1966), I (1851-3), p.164.
    2 See Guilhem Scherf, 'Le portrait de Madame Vleughels, sculpté en 1732 par Bouchardon, revient en France pour entrer au Louvre', `Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France`, XLIX, no.2 (April 1999), pp.18-21, and M. Baker, C. Harrison, and A. Laing, 'Bouchardon's British Sitters: Sculptural Portraiture in Rome and the Classicizing Bust around 1730', The Burlington Magazine, CXLII, no.1173 (December 2000), pp.752-62.
    3 See 'Caylus, mécène du roi. Collectioner les antiquités au XVIIIe siècle', éd. Irène Aghion, Musée des Monnaies, médailles et antiques de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, 17 December 2002-17 March 2003; René Démoris, 'Le comte de Caylus et la peinture, Pour une théorie de l'inachevé', `Revue de l'Art`, no.142 (2003-4), pp.31-43; and S. Rocheblave, `Essai sur le comte de Caylus, l'homme, l'artiste, l'antiquaire', Paris 1889.
    4 Paris, 1775, lot 1150. A misleading title page, presumably added after 1775, suggests that the BM drawings were given by the artist to Mariette, although Parker effectively refuted this in 1930, pointing to Jean-Georges Wille's memoirs, where Wille mentions Bouchardon's drawings as sold in the 1765 Caylus sale. See Parker, 'Bouchardon's 'Cries of Paris", `Old Master Drawings`, V, no.19, December 1930, pp.45-6. The counterproofs also appear in the catalogue of the estate sale of Augustin de Saint-Aubin, Paris, 1808, lot 14, reprinted in E. Bocher, `Catalogue raisonné des estampes, vignettes, eaux-fortes, pièces en couleur au bistre et au lavis, de 1700-1800, Augustin de Saint-Aubin`, Paris, 1879, p.242. 6 For the history of street crier prints, see Pitsch, 1952; K. F. Beall, `Kaufrufe und Strassenhaendler`, Hamburg, 1975; and V. Milliot, `Les 'cris de Paris', ou le peuple travesti, Les représentations des petits métiers parisiens (xve -XVIIIe siècles)`, Paris, 1995.


  • Bibliography

    • Stein 2005 45 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (197.c.8)

  • Exhibition history

    2005/6 Nov-Jan, New York, Met Mus of Art, Clouet to Seurat/BM, no. 45
    2006 June-Oct, BM, Clouet to Seurat/BM, no. 45
    2016 12 Sep - 5 Dec, Paris, Musee du Louvre, Edme Bouchardon:Blood and Marble
    2017 10 Jan - 4 Apr, LA, Getty Museum, Edme Bouchardon:Blood and Marble

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



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