Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Revelers at a Table in the Countryside

Artist:
Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (French, Paris 1724–1780 Paris)
Date:
1760s
Medium:
Pen and black ink with bister wash over black chalk
Dimensions:
9 15/16 x 7 11/16 in. (25.3 x 19.6 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.701
Not on view
An obsessive draftsman and lifelong Parisian, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin chose local street scenes, theatrical performances, and festive gatherings as the main subjects of his art. The setting of Revelers at a Table in the Countryside was probably a rural tavern outside Paris, situated beyond the city walls to circumvent the city’s wine tax. The dapper individuals eat, drink, and flirt contentedly in a scene
that has all the charm and delicate sophistication of an eighteenth-century fête galante. The cheery respite from urban life recalls seventeenth-century Dutch genre scenes of merry companies congregating for a countryside festival or a tavern feast. Saint-Aubin’s spontaneous technique and vivacious use of line expresses the celebratory nature of drawings such as this one, intended purely for pleasure.
Inscription: Annotated in sepia ink at the lower right: G. St Aubin del
Albert Meyer, Paris; Meyer sale, Paris, 6 May 1938, lot 41 (?); [Jacques Seligman and Co., Paris]; René Fribourg, New York; Freibourg sale, Sotheby's, London, 16 October 1963, lot 606; [P. and D. Colnaghi, London]. Acquired by Robert Lehman from Colnaghi in 1963.
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