"Have No Fear, My Good Friend"

Object Details

Title:

"Have No Fear, My Good Friend"

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune (French, 1741 - 1814)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

France (Place created)

Date:

1775

Medium:

Pen and brown ink and brush and brown wash

Dimensions:

26.7 x 21.6 cm (10 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.)

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Pregnant with her first child and apprehensive, a young woman reclines on a daybed in a mirrored alcove. Facing her across the couch, her friend leans forward and reassures her: "The moment [the birth] is over, you won't give it a thought. . . . I have had four children and am none the worse for it." The standing priest bolsters her with the words that form the drawing's title: "Have no fear, my good friend!"

Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune made this drawing as a finished study for an engraving in the celebrated series Monument du costume of 1776. With a plot loosely structured around the childhood and early marriage of a young man, Moreau depicted a variety of events and illustrated the most fashionable clothing to wear for each.

The series reflects the social and moral behavior of the 1700s, but it also forms a vivid record of contemporary taste. The elegantly cut garments, ornate hairstyles, opulent textiles, delicate flowers, and expensive furniture and porcelain reflect the wealth and position of this social circle. Moreau's precise drawing style, focused on brilliantly rendered details and great delicacy of handling, suited both the domestic theme and its setting.

Provenance

King Ludwig II of Bavaria, 1845 - 1886

M. Morgand

Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, Austrian, 1845 - 1934, Paris

Earl of Carnavon, London

Irwin Laughlin

Mrs. Hubert Chanler, Washington D.C., by descent

Anne and Deane Johnson

May 1891

Lepke's Kunst-Auction-Haus (Berlin)

June 10, 1959

Sotheby's (London), lot 39

Exhibitions
Pictures, Drawings, Etc. of the French School of the Eighteenth Century (1913) (53)
  • Burlington Fine Arts Club (London), 1913
Exhibition of French Art, 1200-1900 (January to March, 1932) (835)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January to March, 1932
France in the Eighteenth Century (January 6 to March 3, 1968) (478; catalogue by D. Sutton et. al.)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), January 6 to March 3, 1968
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (77)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (112)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (2000) (March 14 to May 28, 2000) (112)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to May 28, 2000
French Drawings from the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002) (112)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 10 to December 1, 2002
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (March 14 to June 18, 2006) (112)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014) (112)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014
Related Media
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    Audio: Have No Fear, My Good Friend