Daphnis Running toward Chloe

baron François Gérard French

Not on view

In 1798 Gérard contributed six illustrations to the 1800 reprint of Longus’s Les Amours pastorales de Daphnis et de Chloé (1559). This composition, which was not ultimately engraved in the publication, is a première pensée for the climax of the novel when the two lovers finally reunite. On the sheet, Daphnis emerges from the lower left corner and reaches for Chloe. Bold black chalk outlines delineate the figures from the chaotic background. Gérard’s animated blending of wash and white gouache gives the impression of a billowing dress that both covers and reveals Chloe’s lissome figure. This emphasis on the figure, much akin to that of antique sculpted drapery, reflects Gérard’s earlier education in the studio of Jacques Louis David (French, 1748–1825).

Daphnis Running toward Chloe, baron François Gérard (French, Rome 1770–1837 Paris), Black chalk, brush with brown and gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on light tan wove paper

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