The J. Paul Getty Museum

Portrait of Raymond de Magnoncourt

Object Details


Portrait of Raymond de Magnoncourt


Théodore Chassériau (French, 1819 - 1856)






Pencil heightened with white chalk

Object Number:



21.9 × 27.6 cm (8 5/8 × 10 7/8 in.)

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Object Description

An elegant young man with large, liquid eyes reclines languidly on a large cushion, pausing to look up from his reading. Raymond Henri de Staal de Magnoncourt, elder son of the Comte de Magnoncourt, was about sixteen years old when this drawing was made and dedicated to his mother in the bottom corner. His dreamy expression, rumpled yet elegant clothes, tousled hair, and the overall ambiance of artistic beauty and inspiration vividly capture the essence of the Romantic period.

Théodore Chassériau brought a sense of poetry and emotion to his portraiture. He used delicate, almost imperceptible lines to create the sitter's face and hands. Soft shading shapes the boy's round cheek, squashed up under his eye as he rests his head on his hand. In contrast, Chassériau drew the boy's clothing with dark, strong lines, clearly emphasizing the precise, elegant hatching that creates the fabric's shadows and folds.


Théodore Chassériau, French, 1819 - 1856, thence by descent to his family.

December 1, 1988

Art Market (New York)

Agnew's 1993 Catalogue (June 2 to July 30, 1993)
  • Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London), June 2 to July 30, 1993
Recent Additions to the Drawings Collection (August 3 to October 1, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), August 3 to October 1, 1999
Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002
Theodore Chasseriau (June 18, 2002 to January 5, 2003) (Catalogue by S. Guégane et. al.)
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts (Strasbourg), June 18 to September 21, 2002
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), October 21, 2002 to January 5, 2003
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007