Pyrrhus in the House of Glaucias

Augustin Pajou French

Not on view

This drawing illustrates a scene from Plutarch’s Lives: the infant king Pyrrhus, after he is banished from his native Epirus, is presented to the Illyrian king Glaucias and his wife to request asylum. This large and fluidly worked sheet was included among the drawings Pajou exhibited in the Salon of 1759 and was part of the collection of his former teacher, the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger (French, 1704–1778). The precisely delineated shadows evoke the shallow space of a relief sculpture, and in fact, this composition would go on to be realized in three dimensions, twice in plaster and once in leather.

Pyrrhus in the House of Glaucias, Augustin Pajou (French, Paris 1730–1809 Paris), Black chalk, pen and gray ink, brush and gray wash on two joined sheets

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