LOUIS GABRIEL BLANCHET
1705 — French — 1772
Umbrella Pines along the Ridge of a Hill
black & white chalk on tan paper. 10 x 163/4" (255 x 425mm). inscribed: numero quarto. laid down to an 18th c. pink-lined mount.
This landscape study is one of a related group discussed in the exhibition catalogue A Scholar Collects1. Only one sheet is known to be signed.2 All are technically and stylistically similar as well as being executed in the same media and on paper close to the same size (Our sheet is a bit larger than that at Philadelphia.). Various numbers and annotations might suggest that these drawings had been collected in albums by the end of the 18th century. Two other comparable drawings in which Roman architecture dominates were acquired by the Courtauld Institute Galleries in 1982. This type of drawing in this technique by Blanchet was thought to have been an influence on Richard Wilson when he came to Rome.
Blanchet, along with Subleyras and Barbault, won the coveted prix de Rome, went off to the French Academy in Rome and stayed in the Eternal City a lifetime. Today, little remains of his oeuvre.... portraits, palace decorations of allegorical subjects, and landscape drawings. A number of his painted works have been attributed to other contemporaries. He was closely associated with the Jacobite court in exile in Rome. A pair of painted portraits of the Stuart princes presently in the collection of Queen Elizabeth, illustrate Blanchet's superb talent for portraiture.3 He was familiar to and with circles of British artists, architects and members of the aristocracy on the Grand Tour in Rome.
Ulrich W. Hiesinger & Ann Percy, .......... Selections from the Anthony Morris Clark Bequest, Philadelphia, 1980, pp 36-37.
In the Witt Collection of the Courtauld Institute, London, inv. # 3929.
E.P. Bowron & J. Rishel, Art in Rome in the Eighteenth Century, Philadelphia, 200, pp. 328-330, cat. #'s 183 & 184, illustrated.