A Music Party

Object Details

Title:

A Music Party

Artist/Maker(s):

Jacques-André Portail (French, 1695 - 1759)

Culture:

French

Date:

1738

Medium:

Red and black chalk on off-white paper

Dimensions:

32.4 x 25.4 cm (12 3/4 x 10 in.)

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Music formed a recurring theme in the work of Jacques-André Portail. In this drawing, two young women lean together over a book of music to sing a song, accompanied by a flutist. A single man stands behind the trio, leaning forward with his hands stuck in his vest and pocket to observe the music.

Though he skillfully represented the figures' elegant costumes, Portail focused more on the scene's quiet absorption, as all four appear to be totally engrossed in their activity. He built up the scene with numerous, dense lines of different intensities and simply left the highlighted areas blank, allowing the whiteness of the paper to form the tonal contrast.

Provenance

Baron A.-F. de Silvestre (Paris)

December 4-6, 1851

Hotel des Ventes (Paris), lot 270 (Baron de Silvestre sale)

Comte H. de la Beraudière

April 16-17, 1883

Hôtel Drouot, lot 232 (Beraudière sale, 3000 francs)

Richard Lion

April 3, 1886

Hôtel Drouot, lot 117 (Lion sale, 7300 francs)

H.H.A. Josse

May 28, 1894

Galerie Georges Petit, lot 33 (Josse sale, 5000 francs)

Private Collection (Great Britian)

December 9, 1986

Christie's (London), lot 152

Art Market (London)

Exhibitions
18th and 19th Century Drawings (March 15 to May 29, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 15 to May 29, 1994
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999
Watteau and His World: French Drawings from 1700 to 1750 (October 19, 1999 to May 8, 2000) (75; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), February 11 to May 8, 2000
Work and Play: Everyday Life in Drawings; 1520 - 1820 (July 31 to October 14, 2001) (75; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 31 to October 14, 2001
French Drawings from the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002) (75; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • 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) (75; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Paris: Life & Luxury (April 26, 2011 to January 2, 2012) (96)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 26 to August 7, 2011
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013) (96)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013