Despite being born into a dynasty of successful painters, Restout had a troubled relationship with the institutions that controlled the arts under the Bourbon monarchy. It was out of deference to his family’s standing, perhaps, that he was awarded a commission in 1772 for a series of tapestry designs based on Virgil’s Aeneid. In this sketch for one of the panels, Restout’s anticipation of the Neoclassical style is evident in the antique motifs and austere palette. After the Revolution, he would align himself with Jacques Louis David’s efforts to dismantle the structures of privilege and hierarchy that governed the Académie.
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Title:Dido's Sacrifice to Juno
Artist:Jean Bernard Restout (French, Paris 1732–1797 Paris)
Former Attribution:Formerly attributed to Joseph Marie Vien (French, Montpellier 1716–1809 Paris)
Former Attribution: Formerly attributed to Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre (French, Paris 1714–1789 Paris)
Medium:Oil paint, over pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, on paper, mounted on canvas
Dimensions:12 5/8 x 15 3/8 in. (32 x 39 cm)
Credit Line:Van Day Truex Fund, 1983
Anonymous Collection , Angers, April 30, 1980, lot 261 (as attributed to J.-B.-M. Pierre); Vendor: Lynven, Inc., New York
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Drawings Recently Acquired, 1975-1984," November 27, 1984–February 10, 1985.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Eighteenth-Century French Drawings in New York Collections," February 3–April 25, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 20, 2008–January 11, 2009.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "In the Orbit of Jacques Louis David: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints," January 20–May 31, 2022.
Bean and Turcic 1986.308 (as Vien)
J. Patrice Marandel French Oil Sketches from an English Collection: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries. Houston, 1973-1975, cat. no. 86, pp. 88-89, ill.
Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1983 - June 30, 1984. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 114, New York, 1984, p. 24.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th-18th Century French Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 308, p. 273, ill.
Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Jacques Lugand Joseph-Marie Vien, Peintre du Roi (1716-1809). Paris, 1988, cat. no. 39a, p. 213, ill.
Richard J. Campbell, Victor I. Carlson Visions of Antiquity: Neoclassical Figure Drawings. Exh. cat., Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis. 1993, cat. no. 14, fig. no. 14, pp. 142-144, ill.
Peter Walch French oil sketches and the academic tradition: selections from a private collection on loan to the University Art Museum of the University of New Mexico, Alburquerque. Ex. cat. New York, 1994, cat. no. under 38 and 39, pp. 71-72.
Alan Wintermute "Review: Visions of Antiquity. Neoclassical Figure Drawings." Master Drawings. vol. 34, no. 4, Winter 1996, pp. 439-440.
Perrin Stein, Mary Tavener Holmes Eighteenth-Century French Drawings in New York Collections Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1999, cat. no. 83, pp. 190-193, ill.
Mélanges en hommage à Pierre Rosenberg: Peintures et dessins en France et en Italie XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles. Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, 2001, fig. no. 11, p. 463, ill.
Dominique Cordellier, Pierre Rosenberg, Peter Märker Dessins Français du Musée de Darmstadt XVIe, XVIIe, et XVIIIe Siècles. Exh. cat., Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt Graphische Sammlung. Montreuil, 2007, cat. no. under no. 385, fig. no. 1, p. 434, ill.
Nicolas Lesur, Olivier Aaron Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, 1714-1789, Premier peintre du roi. 2009, fig. no. 11, p. 180, ill.
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