The 10th of August, 1792

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The 10th of August, 1792

Italy, circa 1795-1799
Paintings
Oil and graphite on canvas
42 x 56 3/4 in. (106.68 x 144.15 cm)
The Ciechanowiecki Collection, Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation (M.2000.179.36)
Currently on public view:
Ahmanson Building, floor 3 MAP IT
Ahmanson Building, floor 3

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Curator Notes

Painter Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gerard used his connection as Jacques-Louis David understudy to evade conscription in 1793 and avoid proclaiming political allegiances....
Painter Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gerard used his connection as Jacques-Louis David understudy to evade conscription in 1793 and avoid proclaiming political allegiances. During a tumultuous period in France, he spent his career aligning himself with the parties in power, serving as the official portrait painter for Napoleon and then working for the reinstated Bourbon monarchs. Here, Gerard sketched a microcosmic drama depicting the people’s triumph on the 10th of August, a key event in the French Revolution: the people stand powerful, armed with their pointed fingers and aggressive postures, while the king and queen lurk helplessly behind bars. The composition of the work adds to this drama by relegating the royal duo to the background. In a similar spirit, the works of the playwright Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799), which gave rise to the fictional character of Figaro, openly criticized aristocratic authority in the years before the Revolution. In works by Beaumarchais, Figaro uses his cunning to quietly manipulate the Count Almaviva, taking a more covert approach than Gerard’s bourgeoisie, who employ vehement disapproval and violence to overthrow Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
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Provenance

Family of the artist, by descent to; Gramont. Andrew Ciechanowiecki, London, by 1973, sold 2000 to; LACMA.

Bibliography

  • Marandel, J. Patrice. French Oil Sketches from an English Collection, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries 1973-1975. Houston, TX: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1975.
  • Bordes, Philippe, Le serment de Jeu de Paume de Jaques-Louis David. Paris: Editions de la Reunion des Musées Nationaux, 1983
  • Marandel, J. Patrice. French Oil Sketches from an English Collection, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Centuries 1973-1975. Houston, TX: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1975.
  • Bordes, Philippe, Le serment de Jeu de Paume de Jaques-Louis David. Paris: Editions de la Reunion des Musées Nationaux, 1983
  • Olander, William. "Pour transmettre à la postérité, French Painting and Revolution, 1774-1795." Ph.D. dissertation, New York University,  Institute of Fine Arts, 1983.
  • Moulin, Monique. "François Gérard, Peinture du 10 Août 1792." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 101 (May-June 1983):
  • Schnapper, Antoine, et al. Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) (exh. cat.). Paris: Musée du Louvre and Musée National du Château de Versailles, 1989
  • Wintermute, Alan. ed., 1789: French art during the Revolution. New York : Colnaghi, 1989.
  • Walch, Peter, , Joanna R. Barnes,  J. Patrice Marandel. French Oil Sketches and the Academic Tradition. New York : American Federation of Arts in association with the University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994.
  • Marandel, J. Patrice.  French oil sketches from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 17th century - 19th century.  Los Angeles:  The Ahmanson Foundation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2002.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003.
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