| Français | Introduction
Same Drawings from the Italian Sojourn
by Pamela G. Osler, Acting Curator of Prints
The National Gallery of Canada
Pages 1 | 2
1 Gustave Moreau, 1826-1898
Hesiod and the Muse 1858
Pen and brown ink over black chalk, heightened with white ink; 377 X
Signed in brown ink. lower left. with the
artist's monogram and Gustave Moreau. Rome. 1858.
A. Marmontel (sale, Paris, Drouot, 28-29 March
Bought from Stephen Higgons, Paris, 1966.
Exhibitions: Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1968, Master
Drawings from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, no.
repr.; Bloomington, Indiana University Art Museum, 1968, The
Academic Tradition: An Exhibition of 19th Century French Drawings, no.
2 Dates given are those of Ary Renan as cited by Ragnar von Holten, L'art
fantastique de Gustave Moreau, Paris, 1960. It has been
suggested, on the basis of several drawings inscribed Rome 1860,
that if Moreau did not remain longer in Rome than is generally
believed he must have returned later for a short visit (Phoebe Pool,
"Degas and Moreau," Burlington Magazine, vol. CV,
June 1963, p. 255).
3 For example, this reference in a letter to Degas from his father,
dated 30 November 1858: "La présence de M. Moreau à Florence
va te retenir encore, je le vois bien" (P.A. Lemoisne, Degas
et son oeuvre, Paris, 1946, vol. I, p. 31).
4 See letter from Tourny to Degas in Florence, July 1858: "Ne
manquez pas de dire bien des choses à Moreau, dites-lui que je
serai très heureux de le voir cet hiver à Rome" (Lemoisne,
vol. I, p. 228, n. 24). As a further possible source of evidence of
Moreau's presence in Florence some authors have quoted Teleaco
Signorini without due consideration of the fact that Moreau's
arrival in Italy supposedly dates from 1857. Signorini speaks of
events in the year 1855 but his memory may have been vague: "Nel
1855 feci anch'io la mia prima comparsa al Michelangioio ...e
vennero con noi...Degas e Morot [sic], Tissot eLafenestre"
(Caricaturisti e Caricaturati al Caffè Michefangiolo, Florence:
Felice le Monnier, 1952, pp.119-120).
5 Mlle Geneviève Monnier, Assistante au Cabinet des Dessins, Musée
du Louvre, has kindly brought this drawing to my attention. Mr.
and Mrs. Seligman have graciously given permission to publish the
6 Reproduced as an unidentified sketch in Gert Schiff, "Gustave
Moreau 1826-1898," Du, May 1965, p. 367, pl. 24. The
portrait in the lower right of the sheet is of Théodore Chassériau
(cf. the portrait by Moreau reproduced in Léonce Bénédite, Théodore
Chassériau, sa vie et son oeuvre, Paris, 1931, vol. Il,
p. 508). The tact that Chassériau died in 1856 introduces the
possibility of figs. 2 and 4 having been drawn in 1856 in Paris, but
the portrait in fig. 4 could have been drawn from memory. An
inscription at the top of the sheet is barely visible.
Unfortunately, as it is still somewhat difficult to see the
collection of the Musée Gustave Moreau properly a thorough
examination of the drawings is not possible. The drawings
illustrated here are not numbered or catalogued.
7 For a discussion of Moreau's very personal iconography and how it
reflects certain nineteenth-century concepts about the role of the
artist and about men and women, see Dore Ashton, "Gustave
Moreau," in Odilon Redon / Gustave Moreau
/ Rodolphe Bresdin,
New York: The Museum of Modern Art (in collaboration with The Art
Institute of Chicago),1962.
8. Jean Paladilhe, "Préface," Catalogue Sommaire
des Peintures, Dessins, Cartons et Aquarelles exposés dans les
galeries du Musée Gustave Moreau, Paris, 1966.
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