A Music Party

Object Details

Title:

A Music Party

Artist/Maker(s):

Jacques-André Portail (French, 1695 - 1759)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

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)

Comte H. de la Beraudière

Richard Lion

H.H.A. Josse

Private Collection (Great Britian)

Art Market (London)

December 4-6, 1851

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

April 16-17, 1883

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

April 3, 1886

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

May 28, 1894

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

December 9, 1986

Christie's (London), lot 152

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