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CLAUDE LOUIS DESRAIS Paris 1746 – 1816 Paris
A Bacchic Celebration.
Pen and brown ink over black chalk, signed and dated by the artist, 1772. In very good condition, some slight foxing, visible chiefly on the verso, some tiny marginal losses and a hairline crack in the paper at the top right corner.
Exhibited: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Pavillon de Marsan, Palais du Louvre, May-July 1936, La Vigne et la Vie dans l Art, number 139 in the exhibition catalogue.
Provenance: Mme. R.A. and thence by descent in the same family until 2006.
Desrais was a painter of historical subjects and a draftsman of very considerable ability. Many of his drawings were engraved as book illustrations. Our drawing is on a larger scale than his designs for book illustrations and is an extremely fine example of his draftsmanship. It may have been intended as a presentation drawing or an independent work of art.
In the 1770s and 1780s Desrais made a number of drawings of mythological subjects. They have enormous charm and vivacity. Our Bacchic Celebration pays graceful tribute to the beneficent powers of wine. Playful and elegant, it may be seen as the embodiment of French draftsmanship at the end of the Rococo period.
339 x 441 mm. 13 3/8 x 17 3/8 inches