Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen and grey ink, grey and yellow washes
  • 10 ¾ × 8 ¾ inches · 275 × 220 mm
  • Drawn c. 1690–1710
  • £7,500

Collections

  • Christie's 11 November 1969, lot 43; 
  • Sotheby's 21 September 1983, lot 402

This ceiling design, datable to circa 1690-1710, shows an assembly of Olympian gods within a bold decorative border. The informality and sketchiness of the sheet recalls the work of Louis Laguerre; certain elements of handling – such as the rapid pen hatchings – and mannerisms of form, such as the structure of the hands - with individual fingers indicated by a pen line – all suggest an attribution to Laguerre.

Yet arguably the more confident and lively section of the drawing is its ornamental border, which is clearly where the draughtsman evidently felt more at home. The border design is related to a ceiling design published in 1712 by Daniel Marot. Marot was a Dutch designer whose work became influential in England through his close association with King William III and Queen Mary, for whom he designed gardens and interiors at Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. He also worked for leading courtiers, such as the Ralph, 1st Duke of Montagu at Montagu House and for the Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset at Petworth. Marot's work is known now chiefly through his prints, and because so few of his drawings survive it is uncertain whether this sheet should be considered Marot's own work or that of a follower. The figure drawing in Marot's pen and wash Ceiling Design with an Allegory of Victory in the Metropolitan Museum, New York is consistent with a full attribution, especially when comparing the scenes at its bottom and left margins with our drawing. Both the ornamental and figure drawing may also be compared with Marot's pen and ink embroidery designs for Hampton Court Palace, now at the Victoria and Albert Museum.[1]

References

  1. Victoria and Albert Museum, museum no.8480:12.