Framing the drawing

This article by Catherine Monbeig Goguel was first published as ‘Le dessin encadré’ in Revue de l’Art in 1987 (no 76, pp. 25-31), and is republished here in an English translation by The Frame Blog.

Vasari created framing collages in his Libro dei disegni in order to present the drawings in his collection. The idea of framing works on paper by noted artists – treating them like paintings – was further developed during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Filippino Lippi, Raffaellino del Garbo, drawings, framed by Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) in Il Libro dei disegni, pen-&-ink and brown wash, inscr. ‘Filippo Lippi Pitt: Fior:’, sheet 56.7 x 45.7 cm., National Gallery of Art, Washington

Stored as loose sheets, shut up in portfolios, arranged on the pages of albums, sometimes even kept rolled up, European drawings from the 16th to the end of the 18th century also began to join paintings on the wall, where they were either just pinned up or, more often, properly framed. This is not a straightforward development, but there are geographic idiosyncrasies and variations over time which reflect above all the status of the drawing, and ways of appreciating and valuing it, in the aesthetic as well as the commercial sense.

Michelangelo, The fall of Phaeton, 1531-33, black chalk on paper, 31.2 x 21.5 cm., inscr. to Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, British Museum, 1895,0915.517

At first no drawings were framed. If Tommaso Cavalieri cannot be imagined as hanging Michelangelo’s Fall of Phaeton or the Titios (British Museum) on his palace walls –  masterpieces of flawless drawing, designed for the enjoyment of a consummate lover of the form – it is because at this point we know of scarcely any other means of presenting the drawing other than in a portfolio or an album. In Rudolf II’s kunstkammer in Prague there were three drawings by Dürer stored like this, two bound in white parchment, the other in green, inside which the loose leaves were probably folded up [1]. Few material examples, however, survive from this early period.

Album of Antonio II Badile, Master of the Osservanza Triptych/ attrib. to Sano di Pietro, Angel, first half 15th century,  pen-&-ink, 15.4 x 13.6 cm., Collection Fritz Lugt, Fondation Custodia, Paris, 6736

The painter Antonio II Badile, who died in 1507, created the small octavo book now in the Lugt collection (Fondation Custodia), which holds a collection of Italian, French and German drawings [2]. Pisanello received a similar notebook of studies from Gentile da Fabriano, the Taccuino romano, to which he himself – and later the students of his workshop – added further pages [3].

Jacopo Bellini (c. 1400-c.1470), Three soldiers attacking a dragon, 1440-70, drawing from the Jacopo Bellini album, 1855,0811.85; also front cover (leather) of album, incorporating part of C15 or early C16 cover at centre with mid-C19 additions, 1855,0811.1.a; both British Museum

The best example of such collections is, of course, the great Libro by Jacopo Bellini (Louvre and British Museum), a bound volume of which would have been offered to Mahomet II in 1479 [4].

Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, Raffaellino del Garbo, drawings, framed by Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) in Il Libro dei disegni, pen-&-ink and brown wash, inscr. ‘Filippo Lippi Pitt: Fior:’, 56.7 x 457 cm., National Gallery of Art, Washington

Giorgio Vasari’s Il Libro dei disegni occupies an exceptional place in this history; with it, the drawing takes on an ‘historical’ dimension, emphasized by its border. Until proved otherwise, it is Vasari who pioneered the framing of drawings. The pieces from his collection are glued to both sides of the Libro’s large pages, on each leaf set in a decorative framework which links separate drawings within a faux architectural structure, expressive and vital; these have an additional informative aspect, in that the name of the specific artist is inscribed in a cartouche beneath the picture – a means of indicating the artist’s name which is often imitated later.

Bronzino (1503-72), Giovanni de’ Medici, c.1550-51, o/panel, 66.2 x 52.8 cm., Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This feature does not exist in contemporary three-dimensional frames intended for paintings: no similar cartouche is provided for the artist’s name, even when the frame is intended for a particular painting, as in the case of Bronzino’s Portrait of Giovanni de’Medici  in the Ashmolean, or paintings in the collection of Leopoldo de’ Medici [5].

Anonymous 14th century artist (attrib. by Vasari to Cimabue), The martyrdom of St Potitus, c. 1370, framed by Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) in Il Libro dei disegni, École des Beaux-Arts

Regarding what Vasari labelled his ‘drawing by Cimabue’ (now attributed to an unknown 14th century artist), Erwin Panofsky has demonstrated the ‘didactic’ aspect of Vasarian framing admirably [6]. It is a method of highlighting the various pieces, but also marks an episode in the history of framing. The small drawing of the aedicule reacts with the work it contains, and provides a boundary between the image and the blank page of the Libro. ‘It supports and contains what, by itself, would collapse’ [7]: this is a formula all the more pointed given that, apart from Vasari’s collages, the sheet containing a drawing is, in most cases, doomed to dispersal or destruction.

Lorenzo Sabbatini, The Last Supper; Christ among the doctors; Hercules; St Peter, drawings, pen-&-brown ink and wash, framed by Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) in Il Libro dei disegni, inscr. ‘Lorenzo Sabatini Bolog: Pit:’, Musée du Louvre

The adaptation of borders in the Libro to contemporary framing styles finds one of its most elegant incarnations in the presentation of the Last Supper by Lorenzo Sabbatini (1530-76), in the Louvre [8].

Giovanni Bellini, Madonna and Child with Doge Barbarigo, 1482, in a frame dated 1634, S. Pietro Martire, Murano, Venice

Far from detracting from the image, this addition increases its charm and value [9]. The drawing is no longer merely a study but has become an actual small-scale painting in its Sansovino frame.

Bartolomeo Neroni (1505-71), Part of a frieze with two statues of Zaleucus & Scilurus, pen-&-ink and wash, 37.9 x 28.3 cm., one of six designs for the decoration of a Sienese palazzo, Musée du Louvre

Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), Assumption & coronation of the Virgin from Il Libro dei disegni, pen-&-ink and brown wash, 36 x 28.3 cm., preparatory study for an altarpiece for the Cappella di San Michele, Vatican; Musée du Louvre

This is because Vasari’s graphic borders refer to real altarpiece frames, as Panofsky suggested, so that the pages of the Libro could be mistaken for the drafts of real monumental projects; for example, the studies by Bartolomeo Neroni for the decoration of a Sienese palazzo, with classical figures posed between pilasters enriched with festoons of fruit, or the project by Vasari himself for one of the altars in the Chapel of San Michele in the Vatican (Louvre) [10].

Collection of Filippo Baldinucci (1625-96): Carlo Dolci (1616-86), Portrait of the artist’s wife, c.1654, red chalk, 25.8 x 20 cm., Musée du Louvre

After Vasari, no collector would be able to overlook the presentation of his drawings on the page, and the mounts he provides for them. Filippo Baldinucci settled for plain rectilinear lines, drawn with a pen, and for simple labels made by writing the name of the artist on a small piece of paper glued under the drawing [11].

Collection of Everard Jabach: Hans I Rottenhammer (1564-1625), Adoration of the shepherds, pen-&-ink and wash, 34.6 x 27.1 cm., Musée du Louvre

Collection of John Talman (1677-1726): Italian School, The interior of Saint Peter’s, Rome, 1st quarter 17th century, pen, ink, watercolour, 12 15/16 x 16 15/16 ins (32.9 x 43 cm.), 1973.55.2, National Gallery of Art, Washington

In this method of mounting the drawing the effect is limited to a decorative border, such as the golden band around Everard Jabach’s  ‘dessins d’ordonnance’, which he inherited from De La Noue [12]; or the arabesques and frets in fine gold edging the drawings in the collection of John Talman, an example of which, above, seems inspired by the borders of a Cosmati mosaic [13].

The most elegant interpretation of the frame applied to a drawing is undoubtedly the type of montage developed by Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694-1774).  He is the only one amongst his contemporaries – which demonstrates his originality – to play with the imposition of layers of drawing papers along with coloured wash-lines, which together suggest a relief profile. The thickness of the lines penned in black ink is subtly modulated; a cartouche contains the artist’s name but also other information, such as on the destination of the drawing and its history. The frame, translated to a different medium, expressed in the colour harmony of the blue and white paper mounts and the gilt fillets, becomes part of the working drawing.

‘The rôle of the mount, a necessary intermediate area between the pictorial space and the outer world, is completely fulfilled in that it avoids abstraction and allows for harmony; it is part of an overall illusionism which is discreet, simple and natural’ [14].

Of the 3,400 drawings in Mariette’s collection, ‘in very good order and well-organized in more than a hundred portfolios’, a few were put into real frames [15]. The ‘montaged’ drawing, as they used to say in Jabach’s time, is therefore framed in its own turn.

Federico Barocci (c.1533-1612), Immaculate Conception,  pen-&-ink and wash, 23.7 x 18.2 cm.; including border, 33.7 x 27.6 cm., Musée du Louvre

This museographic act, usual today, poses a delicate problem to which successive generations have often responded in a confused and anarchic manner. If the original study already includes the indication of a frame around the main motif, as in the case of Barocci’s drawing, The Immaculate Virgin with Saints (Louvre), the image may end up being framed three times [16]!

Collection of Comte de Saint Morys (1743-95): Agostino Carracci (1557-1602), Landscape with Temptation of Christ, pen-&-ink, 19.1 x 28 cm., Musée du Louvre

Collection of Comte de Saint Morys (1743-95):  Francesco Brizio (1574-1623), Martyr sent to be tortured, sanguine and brown wash, 24.3 x 12.6 cm., Musée du Louvre

A large number of drawings in the Uffizi feature a border imitating the mouldings of a frame, possibly inspired by Dutch ebony frames from the 17th century [17]. This type of mount can be also found in the Louvre on several drawings from the collection of Charles-Paul-J.B. Bourgevin Vialard, Comte de Saint-Morys. The Museum acquired them during the French Revolution, amongst property seized from emigrants [18]; the mounts cannot therefore date from later than 1795, when the Comte died on the Ile Bréa.

Antonio Puglieschi (1660-1732), Assumption of the Virgin, pen-&-ink, detail, Gallerie degli Uffizi

A typical example consists of a strip of paper, painted in light green, pink, grey or ochre watercolour, and attached around the drawing. It often features a cartellino drawn in pen, on which the artist’s name is inscribed.  It is curious that the first copies of Uffizi drawings, made as early as 1766, reproduce this border imitating a three-dimensional frame, thus giving the drawing the value of a painting [19]. This can be compared with the presentation of engravings in the ‘Cabinet Crozat’ collection (1729) [20], where paintings and graphic works appear without any hierarchical difference. In these two examples the independence of the drawing is clearly demonstrated, at a time when reproductive techniques are being perfected – Gilles Demarteau (1722-76) producing engravings which imitate pencil drawings, and Jean-Baptiste Le Prince (1734-81) making engravings in in the style of watercolour washes.

Fragile, vulnerable objects, protected in the dim light of cabinets and libraries across Europe, drawings in the 17th and 18th centuries are safely stored in albums, bound into books, or kept loose in portfolios. Catalogues of auctions, which made a tentative appearance in the 17th century in England and the Netherlands, are proof of this. In this sense, the status of a drawing is close to that of an engraving, only differing in that the latter has a much wider scope of diffusion, which distances it from the unique quality of the drawing. This is what was hung, often without a frame, in the most modest interiors [21]. In the catalogue of Isaac Walraven’s collection of prints (sold in Amsterdam, 1765), albums and portfolios are carefully distinguished. This is also true of M. d’Hermand, connoisseur of drawings: the catalogue of his sale (Paris, 1739) indicates in addition to these two categories, the packages and ‘boîtes‘ in which miniatures are presented (no 28, ‘A package of sketches and jumble of drawings’). The celebrated collection of  Cornelis Ploos van Amstel (1726-98), one of the most important Dutch collectors of the second half of the 18th century, who reproduced northern Old Master drawings from the more than 5,000 he owned (sold in Amsterdam in 1800), was divided into ‘Kunstboeck’ (book of art) and ‘Omslag’ (package).

Carlo Maratta (1625-1713), Padre Sebastiano Resta examining a folio of drawings, red chalk on paper, and detail, Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth

This was already the practice of Italian collectors in the previous century. They have bequeathed us the Roman albums of Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini the younger (1685-1770), the foundation of the Farnesina Collection (now in the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe of the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome); works, now scattered, from the so-called ‘Sagredo-Borghese’ album, with its annotations in a 17th century hand [22]; and drawings which include those in the famous ‘Galleria Portatile of Padre Sebastiano Resta (1635-1714), also known as the Codice Resta,   and now in the collection of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan [23].

In the following century, the focus of drawing collecting moved from Rome to Venice and the Veneto [24]. The studies of Alessandro Bettagno have shed light on the dilettanti of the 18th century, for whom collecting went hand-in-hand with documentary research, the pursuit of information, classification and rigorous expertise (correct attribution, the distinction of originals from copies, the separation of the true from the false). Among these, Anton-Maria Zanetti (1680-1767) [25] stands out, as well as the anonymous amateur who annotated his drawings so methodically that he is known as ‘the Venetian hand’ [26]. For all these connoisseurs the normal way of presenting the drawings is in a book (‘album’) or a portfolio (‘cartella’), whether or not the individual drawings are presented in a montage (or ‘passepartout’).

Domenico Campagnola (c.1500-64), Landscape with Juno & Callisto, c. 1540, pen-&-ink, 35.7 x 48.9 cm., National Galleries of Scotland

However, from the mid-16th century in the Veneto itself drawings were hung on the wall, according to an interesting quote from Marcantonio Michiel: in 1537, in the palazzo of Messer Marco Benavides, doctor, there were,

‘large landscapes on canvas, in tempera, and others drawn in pen and ink on paper, by Domenico Compagnola ‘

It is not unimportant that this early mention concerns exactly those great landscapes made fashionable by Titian, and then through the medium of engraving [27]. Landscapes and portraits in fact seem to have enjoyed a special status in the attitude towards drawings. Some of the portraits Dürer drew must have been displayed on the wall (and therefore framed) as soon as they were created. The very fact that the artist dealt in drawings, as he reports in the Diary of a journey to the Netherlands (1520-22), suggests this [28].

Agostino Veneziano (c.1490-post 1536), after Baccio Bandinelli (1493-1560), Baccio Bandinelli in his studio, 1531, engraving, 27.4 x 30 cm., Metropolitan Museum, New York

Italian School, An artist’s studio, early 17th century, pen-&-brown ink, 24 x 39 cm., Musée du Louvre

Their finished appearance had to be the essential criterion. This is exceptional in respect of the usual function of drawings, and indicates works the purpose of which was far from, for instance, the educational use of the sheets hung, or often just pinned up, in artists’ studios;  these would be used to train students – one thinks of the Studio of Bandinelli – or might function as models for the painter [29].

There is a report in 1630 of a ‘stanzino’ in the gallery of the Palazzo Pitti where there were drawings ‘in frames’ [30]. Similarly, Rembrandt’s posthumous inventory mentions several drawings which were presented alongside the paintings on the wall, unrelated to those in the countless volumes which the artist kept in his studio [31]. In Everard Jabach’s house, both drawings (probably cartoons) pasted on canvas and grisailles in oil on paper were displayed on the walls, including Raphael’s lost drawing for the Judgment of Paris [32]. The series of nineteen sketches by Laurent La Hyre (1645-50), exhibited in the office of the marquillers of the church of Saint-Etienne du Mont, in Paris, also testifies to the specific status of certain drawings [33]: this series entered the Louvre in frames, during the Revolution.

George van der Mijn (1723-63), Cornelis Ploos van Amstel in his Kunstkabinet, 1760, pen-&-ink, wash and watercolour, 21.4 x 28.7 cm., Fondation Custodia, Paris

At a time when the completed drawing, the modello or ordonnance (the term used by Jabach), was particularly popular, an amateur from Toulouse, Canon François Filhol (c.1658), had a cabinet,

‘lined with more than seven or eight hundred drawings from the hand of the old masters and those of our own time: hasty sketches in black chalk, in red chalk, wash, outlined and hatched … ‘ [34].

A connoisseur such as Constantin Sennepart, a silk weaver, certainly hung very finished watercolours in his house in Amsterdam, of the type which Adriaen van Ostade specialized in around 1670-80. Similar works by Cornélis Dussart undoubtedly had the same function, as pieces to hang on the wall [35]. The information we have, however, is too imprecise to give any idea of ​​the frames which were used. A careful examination of paintings of interiors and, in the absence of sales catalogues – still exceptional at this period – the examination of posthumous inventories may be enlightening [36]. For example, two drawings by Jacques Blanchard,

‘enriched with gilded borders, one in a flat moulding, on canvas’,

mentioned as being found on the death of Jean, younger brother of the painter (1645), and a

‘head of Christ done in pencil on a sheet of paper with a wooden border ‘,

reported as belonging in 1642 to Cardinal de Richelieu, arouse one’s curiosity [37].

The situation changes considerably in the 18th century. Accounts of the fashion for framing drawings are multiple and diverse, although sales catalogues are the most accessible source of information for studying this phenomenon. The catalogue of the Crozat sale, written by Pierre-Jean Mariette in 1741, one of the leading examples of the genre for its precision, does not indicate framed works; however, they are noted in the catalogue of Mariette’s own sale in 1775 [38]; and, during the second half of the century, framed pieces are generally mentioned explicitly in catalogues and posthumous inventories [39]. The words ‘under glass’ also become common. Thus,

‘Forty-two heads by Dumonstier, under glass, priced at twenty four livres’,

are listed in the inventory taken after the death of the Duc de Saint-Aignan in 1776 [40]. The history of the framed drawing should therefore also be linked to that of protective glazing, itself dependent on manufacturing techniques, both for transparency and for a flawless surface. However, it was not until the end of the 17th century that sufficient progress was made in achieving both, with the invention of the table-casting process at the Saint-Gobain factory (patent granted in 1688).

At the end of the century, the Comte de Saint-Morys, one of the most avid collectors of drawings, entered some three hundred and ten framed drawings into a sale which took place in Paris, on 6 February 1786, alongside loose-leaf drawings grouped ten per lot number, without any order and in the most eccentric way [41]. In this sale, it is easy to spot the framed designs sold in pairs, because they are coupled with the same lot number. Quoting from Puget, we can see ‘Deux marines avec vaisseaux’ (no 320), but also the two ‘Intérieurs de jardin’ by Oudry (no 326), and the two drawings in black pencil by Boucher, the ‘Baigneuses‘ and the ‘Jeune chauffeur avec une jeune fille (no 349). These pendants, characteristic of the 18th century, constitute a different category as framed drawings, since it was supposed that they were an integral part of an interior decorative scheme, and also part of the daily life of its owners.

François Boucher (1703-70), The waterfalls of Tivoli, 1730, black & white chalk, 32 x 43.9 cm., Frankfurt, Städelsches Institut  

According to Margret Stuffmann, it was around 1730 with Boucher that this way of seeing the drawing arose. Two landscapes by the young artist, produced that year in Rome, already came  into this category (Frankfurt, Städelsches Institut, above; and Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) [42]. The development of engravings in the style of drawings, previously mentioned, is part of this same trend; and at the same time the drawing begins to lose its character of witness to the creative genius – the expression of the mano divina – which had given it implicit value since the time of Vasari.

This event is therefore fundamental. Works on paper or vellum which are framed can often be compared to oil paintings, and the best proof of this is when they are close-framed, without any mount. Landscapes which have been painted in gouache, miniatures, and pastels (although these pose conservation problems specific to graphic works), are more like oil paintings simply because they are coloured. There are quite a few examples of works in this category which have retained their original frames, but it is astonishing that mention of them is so often omitted from the most recent museum catalogues [43]. On the other hand, current sales catalogues are meticulous in describing them, the presence of the frame obviously considerably increasing the value of the image.

Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe (1716-94), La salle d’été et le Trianon au château de Belle Vue, one of a pair, s & d 1774, gouache, 19 x 24.5 cm., Claude Vittet: Maîtres Anciens, Paris 

For instance, one could cite, as well as the framed gouache and its pendant above, Louis-Nicolas Van Blarenberghe’s gouaches, Paire de paysages pastoraux animés, which appeared on the London market in their superb convoluted silver frames [44], and Jean-Baptiste Le Paon’s (1738-85)  Le Bivouac, another landscape in gouache, recently sold in its carved giltwood frame by Etienne-Louis Infroit [45].

Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe (1716-94), Siege of Yorktown, 6-19 October 1781, 1784, gouache on vellum, 60.9 x 95.5 cm., Roi Salle de billard, Château de Versailles. © Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN / © Christophe Fouin

Regarding gouaches, an extreme example of their equality with paintings on canvas is found in the series of twenty-two Battles of Louis XVI, in the Château de Versailles, where these works on vellum, by Van Blarenberghe, are hung in beautifully carved Louis XVI fronton frames.

Jean Michel Moreau le Jeune (), La grande illumination du parc de Versailles…19 mai 1770,  1775, pen-&-wash, 39.7 x 80 cm., Musée du Louvre 

The drawings made to commemorate the sumptuous festivals organized by the Menus Plaisirs during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI also deserve to be framed like oil paintings, both for their finished state and their large scale; for example, the Grande illumination by Moreau le Jeune (deposit of the Louvre at the Château de Versailles) [46].

Charles-Nicolas Cochin (1715-90), La Réception par Louis XV de l’ambassadeur du Grand Turc, à Versailles, 1740, pen-&-ink and wash, 44.5 x 73.7 cm. (only a detail of sight edge of frame appears in photo), Musée du Louvre, RF 41257 

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that another large drawing, the Reception by Louis XV of the ambassador of the Grand Turk, at Versailles, by Charles-Nicolas Cochin, 1740, has retained its original frame, since we know that it was already framed when in the possession of its second owner, the amateur sculptor and ornameniste, Philippe Cayeux, whose name is associated with the history of the frame, and linked with Cochin himself as well as with C.-J. Vernet [47]. Exceptional pieces such as Edme Bouchardon’s Horse’s head (study for the equestrian statue of Louis XV) were also framed; this drawing entered the Louvre in 1808, while the rest of Bouchardon’s work accompanied it as loose leaves [48].

Collection of Comte de Saint Morys: Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-80), Vue du Salon de 1765, pencil, ink & watercolour, 9.84 x 18.11 ins (25 x 46 cm.), details, Musée du Louvre, département des Arts graphiques  

Gabriel de Saint-Aubin is an inexhaustible mine of information for everything related to the history of collecting in the 18th century. However, the great Views of the Salon de l’Academie Royale in 1765 and 1767 (Musée du Louvre and Paris, Private collection) are ultimately less useful for studying frames than the sketches which Saint-Aubin regularly made in the margins of the catalogues for the Salons or for large auction sales, because in the overall view of the Salon it is hard to pick out one picture in the mosaic of works on the wall, or to distinguish the drawings from the paintings [49]. These general views can teach us nothing of how the large sketches drawn by Greuze were framed, although the frames were as much objects of Diderot’s admiration as the paintings [50]. Whilst engravings were relegated to the window embrasures, the drawings mingled with the paintings. In contrast, Saint-Aubin is always precise in his sketches of details, and often indicates the profile of a frame around certain drawings. This is the case with the gouaches which Pierre-Antoine Beaudouin (1723-69) submitted to the 1769 Salon (no 69): Plusieurs feuillets du Livre de l’Epître et celui de l’Évangile destinés pour la Chapelle du Roi, intended for the King’s Chapel; the one drawn by Saint-Aubin on the right, annotated with the Évangile de saint Jean, corresponds to one of the three canons of the Church of Notre-Dame de Versailles, still intact in their Louis XVI frames [51]. The sketch drawn by Saint-Aubin to illustrate No. 78, from the Salon of 1761, A drawing representing a view of the peristile of the Louvre by De Machy, clearly shows the frame decorated with paterae at the four corners. These are just a few examples, which inspire further research [52].

Jean Démosthène Dugourc (1749-1825), Un atelier d’artiste, pen-&-ink and watercolour, 27.8 x 20.8 cm.,  Musée du Louvre 

It is also helpful to search systematically under a category such as Interior views for indications which show whether a drawing was glazed. In the Un atelier d’artiste, above, Dugourc has depicted a large collection of drawings in a portfolio or cardboard folder fastened with a ribbon and bearing the label ‘ECOLE D’ITALIE No 3’, whilst loose drawings are unrolled on the console on the left. However, there is also a good chance that the two small frames near the window contain a pair of drawings. Interior views like this may be compared with written descriptions, and with inventories of the collections, some of which are accompanied by drawings meticulously representing each of the rooms containing the objects, as in the inventory of Jean de Julienne’s collection, which is kept at the Pierpont Morgan Library.

Jacques de Lajoue (1687-1761), Cabinet of Joseph Bonnier de La Mosson, 1734, ex-Beit Collection, Blessington, Ireland; now private collection (Leonard Blavatnik)

Jean-Baptiste Courtonne (c.1712-81), Collection of Bonnier de La Mosson: Cabinet of dried animals, detail, drawing, 36 × 168 cm, from Recueil des dessins des cabinets de curiosités de Bonnier de la Mosson, 1739/40). Photo: © Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Paris, Département de la bibliothèque et de la documentation, collections Jacques Doucet 

In the case of the Cabinet of Joseph Bonnier de La Mosson (1702-44), it is possible to compare the very accurate drawings he had commissioned of each room containing his objects and books, in the scale of 1/14, with the description of them given by Dézalier d’Argenville, and the catalogue notices of the sale of La Mosson’s collection by the dealer Gersaint (Paris, 1744) [53].

Hubert Robert (1733-1808), Le Salon du bailli de Breteuil, ambassadeur de l’Ordre de Malte à Rome, c.1765, sanguine, 34.9 x 48.8 cm., and detail, Musée du Louvre 

In Hubert Robert’s Vue du Salon du bailli de Breteuil (Louvre), a frame can be seen on the back wall to the right of the central painting, containing small squares which could correspond to a group of drawings [54].

It must be the drawing (rather than the engraving) of The unhappy Callas family by Carmontelle, acquired by the Louvre (inv. RF 41215), which we see in the Portrait of Voltaire seated at his table, also by Carmontelle (Paris, art market; image untraced) [55].

Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe (1716-94), Bedroom of the duc de Choiseul (summer furnishings), gouache, mounted on a 19th century snuffbox by Alexandre Leferre (pre-1806-post-1838), enamel & gold, 8.4 x 6.4 x 2.5 cm., Musée du Louvre 

Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe (1716-94), Bedroom of the duc de Choiseul (winter furnishings), gouache, 1770, mounted on an 18th century snuffbox (the ‘Choiseul Box’) by Louis Roucel (d.1787), 8 x 6 x 2.4 cm., private collection 

What can be learnt from an examination of the interiors of the duc de Choiseul’s Paris hôtel, meticulously depicted by Van Blarenberghe on two snuff boxes – one in the Louvre, the other in a private collection? [The latter shows a hundred paintings, of which Sir Francis Watson was able to identify fifty-five[56]].

Catalogue des tableaux et dessins originaux… qui composaient le Cabinet de feu Charles Natoire… (illustrated by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin), Paris, 14 December 1778, p.18; Bibliothèque nationale 

Cross-checking such information might give an idea of ​​the ‘gilded frames’ on the glazed drawings which belonged to Charles-Joseph Natoire (1751-75), and are noted under that heading in the catalogue of his posthumous sale…[57]

Livre-Journal de Lazare Duvaux: Marchand-bijoutier Ordinaire du Roy 1748-58, vol. 2, Paris, 1873, January 1751, Bibliothèque nationale 

Catalogue de tableaux des écoles hollandaise, flamande et française, dessins de Fragonard, Robert et autres…, Sale, 13 April 1778, no 68, Institut national d’histoire de l’art  

Catalogue d’une belle collection de tableaux, sculptures, dessins, estampes, livres d’estampes, et autres objets de curiosité…, collection of Jean-Baptiste-Denis Lempereur, Sale, 19 October 1775, no 18, Institut national d’histoire de l’art  

…or the ‘frames of cedar-wood with clear glass for two drawings’, commissioned by the Marquise de Pompadour, above, for whom the marchand-mercier Lazare Duvaux also ordered ‘a small flowered frame for a print’ [58]; the ‘pearwood frames’ containing two oval coloured drawings of Neptune and Amphitrite by a M. Pierre, above, from the collection of M. Gros [presumably the pastellist, Jean-Antoine Gros, 1725-90], almost certainly glazed, like several other drawings in this sale [59];  and lastly, the ‘black frames with a gold fillet’ which Lempereur chose for two landscapes in gouache, above. Charles-Nicolas Cochin also took care with the framing of his drawings [60].

Relatively few drawings retain the frames chosen by 18th century connoisseurs, other than those in the groups already noted. Only one of fifteen drawings by Lagrenée, exhibited at the Salon of 1777 (no 37 to 48), seems to have retained its original ‘bordure et baguette’ setting – a simple narrow drawing frame [61]. Yet this large submission to the Salon of so many finished, sizeable works demonstrates a truly militant stance by the artist in favour of the drawing. Some pieces in private collections have occasionally been preserved in their original condition; so a drawing by Clément-Pierre Mariller, La corbeille de mariage, was put on sale a few years ago with a frame which was certainly original, and included initials which appear in a detail of the drawing [62]. In Italy, a good example survives in the Pallavicini Rospigliosi collection in Rome [63]; although in general the imperatives of narrowly-focused presentation and also of conservation have had fatal consequences for frames in museums. Only miniatures, pastels, and – if necessary – certain rare or exceptionally-sized drawings are still kept in their original frames today. In the Louvre, during the exhibition held in 1790, in the Year V of the Republic, in the Galerie d’Apollon – the first of its kind – the drawings invaded the picture rails and the window embrasures, exhibited in direct light.  They were displayed in frames, similar in style, if not in dimensions – what might be called ‘standard’ frames – hung alongside each other. The effect was of monotonous regularity, to say the least, compared with the eccentric abundance which characterized the cabinets of the great collectors in previous generations.

Florent-Fidèle-Constant Bourgeois (1767-1841), Galerie d’Apollon au Louvre avec l’exposition des dessins, c.1802-15, pen-&-ink & brown wash, 33.6 x 44 cm., Musée du Louvre

A drawing by Constant Bourgeois in the Louvre gives us an idea of the exhibition; here and there a portrait has slipped in, clad in an elegant Louis XVI frame: a pastel, perhaps [64]? This exhibition opened a new era for the history of framing the drawing [65].


Catherine Monbeig Goguel is Emeritus Director of Research at the CNRS, and was an art historian in the Département des arts graphiques, Musée du Louvre, Paris


Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-80),  Arrêt du Parlement de Paris du 6 août1761 contre les Jésuites,  21571 LR Recto, Musée du Louvre 

[1] Mentioned in the posthumous inventory of Rudolf II found in the Library of the Prince of Liechtenstein; see W. Koshatsky and A. Strobl, Die Dürerzeichnungen der Albertina, Salzburg, 1971, pp. 38-40. Karl Imhoff, from whom Rudolf II got some of his drawings, mentions ‘an album bound in green parchment, which contained the drawings’ in 1574 (ibid., pp. 36-37). For the presentation of these drawings, see E. Starcky, Inventory of Drawings of Northern Schools, Complément aux Inventaires Demonts and Lugt, Musée du Louvre, Paris2

[2] See F. Lugt, Les marques de collections de dessin et d’estampes, Supplément, The Hague, 1956, p. 422 (2 900h), and B. Aikeme & B. W. Meijer, Disegni veneti di collezioni ollandesi, Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 1985, exh. cat., pp. 21-21, under no. 2, with bibliography

[3] See B. Degenhart & A. Schmitt, Corpus der italienischen Zeichnungen, 1300-1450, I, Sünd und Mittelitalien, Berlin, 1968, vol. I, pp. 236-37, under no. 127, vol. 2, Exkursus II

[4] See B. Degenhart & A. Schmitt, Jacopo Bellini, L’Album dei disegni del Louvre, New York-Milan, 1984, p. 9

[5] See Marilena Mosco, ‘Anthropomorphism and Zoömorphism in the ‘Medici’ picture frames’, Auricular Style Frames, 2016

[6] Erwin Panofsky, ‘Das erste Blatt aus dem Libro Giorgio Vasaris’, Stadel Jahrbuch, 6, 1930, pp. 25-72; French version in L’Oeuvre d’art et ses significations, Paris, 1969, pp. 135-87

[7] See Jacques Derrida, La vérité en peinture, Paris, 1978, Flammarion, II, in Le Paregon, pp. 44-168

[8] Louvre, Inv. 9008. L. Collobi-Ragghianti, Il Libro dei disegni del Vasari, Florence, 1974, I, p. 153; II, fig. 477. Compare with the details of other ‘Sansovino’ frames in ‘Frames in Focus: Sansovino Frames – an exhibition at the National Gallery, London’, The Frame Blog, 2015

[9] Most recently, a study of drapery from the circle of Lorenzo di Credi, with partial remnants of Vasari’s ‘decorative borders’ at top and bottom, was sold by Sotheby’s New York in 2011 for $62,500, and a study of St Joseph’s head by Andrea del Sarto, with two drawings of legs on the verso, and ‘part of [Vasari’s] mount and inscription’, was sold by Christie’s in 2005 for £6,504,000 

[10] See Catherine Monbeig Goguel, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins. Inventaire général des dessins italiens, I, Vasari et son temps, Paris, 1972, nos 105-110; no 199. They were given in error to the Libro; see L. Collobi Ragghianti, op. cit., I, pp. 110 & 165; II, figs 346 & 503

[11] On Filippo Baldinucci’s collection, see Catherine Monbeig Goguel & F. Viatte, Dessins baroques florentins, Paris, Louvre, 1981-82, exh. cat, with bibliography

[12] On the presentation of the Jabach collection, see Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins, Répertoire systématique des fonds I. Collection Jabach, Paris, 1978: the previous existence of a mount defined by a border of gold leaf, probably instituted by a collector named De La Noue (not Desneux de La Noue), has since been confirmed, following my own opinion (see p. 13). Jabach thus only continued a method of mounting which had already been developed in France in the first half of the 17th century

[13] Gilded border from the collection of John Talman (Lugt, 2462). This collector, who died in 1726, acted as intermediary in the sale of the collection of drawings formed by Padre Resta for the Bishop of Arezzo, to Lord Somers

[14] See D. Le Marrois, ‘Les montages de dessins au 18th siècle: L’exemple de Mariette’, Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art français, for 1982, 1984, pp.86-96

[15] See  R. Bacou, The famous Italian drawings from the Mariette Collection in the Louvre, Paris, Milan, 1981: in particular, p. 60. The framed drawings on his walls are described in his posthumous inventory (Paris, Archives nationales, Minutier, study LXXVI, 45), and indicated in the auction catalogue, Paris, 1775, with an asterisk. They are large works, such as the Female allegory by Nicollò dell ’Abate (Louvre, inv. 5844; sale, Paris, 1775, no 114 *). Mariette’s mark (an M in a circle; Lugt, 1852) was not applied to that specific piece; it was also omitted in the case of one drawing from a pair, kept in its frame by its owners, possibly corresponding to no. 152 from the 1775 sale (Paris, private collection): ‘Two superb panoramic landscapes in pen and brown wash; in one we see Harvesters in the foreground; in the other a Town, with a Bridge in the distance’. The dimensions are respectively: 26.5 x 41.5 cm. (no mark); 26.5 x 41 cm. (with a mark; the one with a town and a port)

[16] Louvre, inv. 2855; see D. Le Marrois, op. cit., fig. 21

[17] Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi: Carlo Sacconi (Florence, first half of the 18th century), Death of the Virgin, pen-&- brown ink, brown wash, on black chalk, in a montaged frame of about 8 mm. wide, in pen-&- brown ink, brown watercolour, 18.2 x 25.2 cm., inscribed ‘Carlo Sacconi’. Antonio Puglieschi (Florence 1660-1732), n. 15215 F, Assumption of the Virgin, pen-&-brown ink, on black chalk, in an identical light green frame, inscribed ‘Ant. Puglieschi ’ in the cartouche. Other examples of this montage, which was repeated and imitated endlessly, include: Fabrizio Boschi, n. 15683 F; Giuseppe Nasini, n.15376 F & 15671 F; Filippo Baldinucci, n. 25354 F, 15352 F, 15353 F; S. Conca, n. 3750 F. See also the examples reproduced in Claus Grimm, Altebilderrahmen, 1978, p. 78. We know that drawings from the Medici collections were sold in the 18th century, when the Palazzo Pitti holdings were transferred to the Uffizi; see A. Forlani Tempesti, ‘Il Gabinetto disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi nel quadro del collezionismo di grafica italiana dal’ 500 all’Unità ’, in Gli Uffizi. Quattro secoliu di una galleria, Atti del convegno Internazionale di Studi (Firenze, 20-24 September 1982), curated by P. Barocchi and G. Ragionieri, vol. I, Florence, 1983, p. 198

[18]  These montages can be found in the Louvre, in particular on the following drawings: Agostino Carracci, inv. 11973; Michelangelo, inv. 852; Bilivert, inv. 589. For a complete list, see J. Labbé and L. Bicart-See, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des Dessins, Répertoire systématique des fonds II. La Collection Saint-Morys, Paris, ed. Musées Nationaux, 1987

[19] Disegni originali d’Eccellenti Pittori asistenti nella R. Galleria di Firenze, Incisi in rame, con imitazione, grandezza, e colore, ad aqcaquarello, penna, e matita. Conscrati alla Somma Clemenza di S.A.R. felicimente regnante dall’umilissimo Servo, e suddito Andrea Scacciati Fiorentino, Incisore de disegni suddetti. Da proseguire tale opera sotto i favorevoli Auspici della dedesima S.A.R., Florence, 1766

[20] Recueil d’Estampes d’après les plus beaux tableaux et d’après les plus beaux dessins qui sont en France dans le Cabinet du Roi, dans celuys de Monseigneur le duc d’Orléans et dans d’autres cabinets…, Paris, 1729

[21] For a striking example of the diffusion of printmaking, particularly of engraved portraits of important public figures, see G. Malbeste (Paris, 1754-1843), Portrait of Henry-Louis Duhamel de Monceau in a peasant interior, watercolour from the Richesses de la France intended for the Institution de la Jeune Noblesse by Pierre-Charles Lefébure (1777), Paris, Bibliothèque de la Chambre des Députés, MS 1136, vol. I, p. 162, reproduced by M. Pinault in Ethnologie française, 1986, no 1, fig. 1

[22] Insofar as one can be certain that the inscriptions on the drawings of this provenance date from the beginning of the 17th century, it can be surmised that the formation of this collection predates Zaccaria  Sagredo (1654-1729), and belongs to his uncle Nicolò Sagredo (1606-76); see B. Aikema and B. Meijer, Disegni venetii …, op. cit., p. 40, under no 20; with bibliography

[23] On Padre Resta’s ‘Galleria Portatile’, see G. Bora, I disegni del Codice Resta, Fontes Ambrosiani, LVI, Bologna, 1976; presentation by A. Paredi, pp. 9-13. He had also assembled sixteen volumes for the Bishop of Arezzo, Monsignor Marchetti, and another for the king of Spain, Philip V. On this collection, see G. Fusconi & S. Prosper Valenti Rodinò, ‘Un’ aggiunta a Sebastiano Resta … ‘, Prospettiva, April 1983-June 1984, no 33-36, pp. 237-57, who retain Resta as the provenance of the ‘Borghese album’ (p. 243)

[24] The basic work for the history of Italian collections remains G. Campori, Raccolta di cataloghi e inventari inediti dal sec. XV al sec. XIX, Modena, 1870. A useful overview of Italian drawing collection is provided by A. Forlani Tempesti, ‘Il Gabinetto disegni…’, op. cit., pp. 183-99

[25] See A. Bettagno, Caricature di Anton-Maria Zanetti, Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 1969, exh. cat.

[26] See A. Bettagno, Disegni di une collezione venezianna del Settecento, Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 1966, exh. cat.

[27] On the development of the landscape as a subject in Titian, taken up by Campagnola, and on the diffusion of engravings made from landscape drawings, see M. Murano and D. Rosand, Tiziano e la Silografia veneziana del Cinquecento, Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, 1976, in particular pp. 64-67, Dalla Silografia all’incisione su rame: Tiziano e Cornelis Cort, exh. cat.

[28] See Ph. Troutman, Le journal de voyage d’Albrecht Dürer dans les anciens Pays-Bas, 1520-21, translated and commented upon by J.A. Goris and G. Marlier, Brussels, 1970. Dürer notes particularly, in addition to the many portraits for his friends or benefactors, those of ‘six people whose portraits I executed in Brussels who gave me nothing’, p. 26

[29] On the representation of the Academy of Baccio Bandinelli by Agostino Veneziano, in which the frame hung on the wall is perhaps that of a drawing, and on the views of workshops or academies in general, see P. Georgel and A.-M. Lecoq, La peinture dans la peinture, Musées des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, 1982-83, Allégories réelles, pp. 111-58, fig. 172. A drawing is almost always depicted as an album or a single leaf. A fine example of a drawing pinned to the wall is provided by Vanité et trompe-d’oeil (Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts), by J.-F. Motte, op. cit., fig. 328 . In An artist’s studio (Louvre, inv. 12126) reproduced here, the studies are hung from a cord by clips, in front of the paintings; this could be the work of a Florentine artist in the entourage of Baccio del Bianco. On scientific cabinets and academies where the teaching includes drawing, as seen in images of them, see M. Pinault, Dessin et Science, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1984, exh. cat.

[30] Cited by A. Forlani Tempesti, ‘Il Gabinetto disegni…, op. cit., p. 19

[31] See W.L. Strauss & M. Van der Meulen, The Rembrandt documents, New York, 1979, pp. 349-87: 1656: The inventory of Rembrandt’s possessions (p. 357, no 88, ‘A sketch by Rembrandt’; no 89, ‘A copy after a sketch by R.’; p.359, no 111, ‘A sketch of Christ’s Entombment by R .’…). Rembrandt owned around fifty drawings by Annibale Carracci (op. cit., p. 527), an album of drawings and engravings by Lucas de Leyden (op. cit., p. 576), etc.

[32] Grouchy, Everard Jabach: collectionneur parisien, Paris, 1894, pp. 33 and ff: Mémoire de Tableaux et Autres effets appartenant à dessunt noble homme Everard Jabach, directeur de la Compagnie des Indes, et à Madame sa veuve. Premièrement: Tableaux, in particular nos 5, 16, 57, 274, 463 ‘The dying Adonis… drawing by Rosso Fiorentino’, 464 (‘Drawing by Raphael, the Judgement of Paris’), 465 (‘The occasion. .., in pastel by Rubens’), 544. On the drawings of the Judgement of Paris, at the Louvre, see P. Jean-Richard, in Raphaël dans les collections françaises,, Paris, Grand-Palais, 1984, p. 346, under no 24, exh. cat.

[33] See Inventaire des Richesses d’Art de la France, 1876, I, pp. 125-26; II, pp. 55, 330-31.  J. Guiffrey & P. Marcel, Inventaire général des dessins du Musée du Louvre et du Musée de Versailles, École française, VII, Paris, 1912, no 5573 to 5590. B. Scart, in Dessin français du 17th siècle, Paris, Louvre, 1984, no 96, exh. cat.

[34] E. Bonnaffé, Dictionnaire des Amateurs français au 17th siècle, Paris, 1884, pp. 107-08, cited by J.-F. Méjanès, Collections de Louis XIV, dessins, albums, manuscrits, Paris, Orangerie, 1977-78, p. 155, exh. cat. This considerable collector, who was in contact with Gaston d´Orléans, had ‘another room lined with papers (prints) … of which we have more than a thousand sheets’

[35] See B. Schnackenburg, Adriaen van Ostade, Isaak van Ostade, Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Hamburg, 1981, pp. 42-45: Gelbständingen Zeichnungen, on drawings intended to be sold, offered, or produced as exercises in order to develop new compositions or to stimulate the imagination. The depictions of the interiors of cabinets, with framed works hanging on the wall, do not make it possible to distinguish whether the latter are drawings, even in the case of a connoisseur like Ploos van Amstel, whose Kunstkammer is well-known from the drawing by George van der Mijn.

[36] Rembrandt’s drawings could be researched from this point of view, their history being traceable through the various collections: see P. Schatborn, ‘Van Rembrandt tot Crozat’, Nederlands Kunsthistorich Jahrbock, 32, 1981, pp. 1-54. Posthumous inventories would also be a fundamental source here (for example, that of Jan van Cappelle, published in Oud Holland, 10, 1982, pp. 26-40 and 133-36). One is struck by the finished appearance of many of the drawings reproduced by Ploos van Amstel (from 1765) and Josi, published by the latter in the Collection of imitations of Dutch and Flemish drawings, London, 1821.

[37] Paris, Archives nationales, Minutier central, étude IV, cited by E. Coyecque, ‘Notes sur divers peintres du 17th century’, Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art français, 1940, p. 77. C.H. Levi, ‘L’inventaire après décès du Cardinal Richelieu’ Archives de l’Art français (L’art à l’époque de Richelieu), XXVII, 1985, p. 66, no 1090

[38] Description sommaire des dessins des grands maistres d’Italie, des Pays-Bas et de France du Cabinet de feu M. Crozat, avec des réflexions sur la manière de dessiner des principaux peintres. A Paris, par P.-J. Mariette. Chez Pierre-Jean Mariette, rue S.-Jacques aux Colonnes d’Hercule, MDCCXLI.

Catalogue raisonné des différents objets de curiosités dans les Sciences et les Arts qui composaient le Cabinet de feu M. Mariette Contrôleur Général de la Grande Chancellerie de France, Honoraire Amateur de l’Académie Rle de Peinture et de celle de Florence. Par F. Basan, graveur. A Paris, chez l’Auteur, rue et Hôtel Serpente et chez G. Desprez Imprimeur du Roi, et du Clergé de France, rue St-Jacques, 1775. On Mariette’s framed drawings, see above, note 15

[39] M. Stuffmann points out that a drawing by Goltzius is mentioned as framed in the posthumous inventory of Pierre Crozat (Paris, Archives nationales). At least one drawing by Goltzius with this provenance is known; see E.K.J. Reznicek, Die Zeichnungen von Hendrick Goltzius, Utrecht, 1961, no 341 (Étude d’un jeune homme dans le style de Lucas de Leyde, Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, nr. 1699)

[40] See M. Le Moël et P. Rosenberg, ‘La collection de tableaux du duc de Saint-Aignan et le catalogue de sa vente illustré par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin’, Revue de l’Art, 1969, no 6, p. 67, no 95

[41] Cabinet de M. de St. M., Vente Paris, 6 February 1786 (catalogue by A. Paillet, painter, and A. Milliotti, antiquarian). On the framed drawings, see pp. 64-140, no 200-510. The subsequent numbers, 510-827, are those of the ‘loose leaf drawings’

[42] See H. Bauereisen, M. Stuffmann, Französische Zeichnungen im Städelschem Kunstinstitut 1550 bis 1800, Frankfurt, 1986, pp. 106-07, fig. 79a and colour plate 79 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, and Frankfurt, Städelsches Institut, inv. 1862). Boucher exhibited several drawings at the Salon of 1745  (studies for the Moeurs et Visages des Turcs, graphite on parchment; see François Boucher, Paris, Grand-Palais, 1986, p.30, exh. cat.), following the example of Bouchardon (see M. Levey, in Master Drawings, IX, 1971, no 3, p. 280)

[43] In particular G. Monnier, 17th and 18th century pastels. Musées du Louvre, Paris (Inventaire des collections publiques françaises), 1972. However, several pastels in the Louvre retain their original frames, such as the Louis XV by M.-Q. de La Tour

[44]  Sotheby’s sale, Monaco, February 11, 1979, no 72, reprod. in color, and p.87: Louis Nicolas van Blarenberghe, ‘Pair of animated pastoral landscapes, one with double rainbow …; the other with travellers on the edge of a wood ‘; gouaches, ‘purchased in Venice in 1865, with five others by Blarenberghe in silver frames, for Baron Mayer de Rothschild … see the Catalogue of the Collections at Mentmore, ed, private, 1883, p. 124, no 57, 57a ’

[45] See H. Beaumont, ‘Deux gouaches de qualité royale’, Connaissance des arts, 1978, special edition, fig. 108

[46] Versailles, Musée du Château, inv. 11765 (M.V. 31358), pen, brown ink, gray wash, 39.7 x 80 cm. A note in the Archives nationales indicates that this drawing was part of the collections of the Menus Plaisirs in 1779-80 and was framed. See A. Ch. Gruber, Les grandes fêtes et leurs décors à l’époque de Louis XVI, Geneva-Paris, 1972, p. 72, fig. 46

[47] Louvre, inv. R.F. 42257, graphite, gray and brown wash on vellum, 44.5 x 73.5 cm. Signed lower left: ‘Dessiné par C. X. Cochin le fils’. Exhibited in the 1745 Salon. See Catalogue raisonné des tableaux, bronzes, terres cuites et bustes de plâtres, dessins en feuille et sous verre, estampes de toutes les écoles, livres et estampes, bijoux, etc., qui composent le Cabinet de feu M. Cayeux, sculpteur, Ancien Officier de l’Acadeemie de S. Luc par Pierre Rémy, Paris, 1769, no 267* (the asterisk indicating glazed pictures). Cochin drew the portrait of Cayeux, which was engraved by J. D. Lempereur

[48] Louvre, inv. 24099 (G.M. 1117), sanguine, 67 x 46 cm. Inscribed in pen-&-brown ink: E. Bouchardon. Cited by Morel d’Arleux, Inventaire manuscrit des dessins du Louvre, vol. VIII: dessins de Bouchardon remis le 9bre 1808 au nom de M. Gérard, neveu de Bouchardon… huit volumes en cartons remplis de dessins de Bouchardon plus un cadre renfermant une tête de cheval dessiné à la sanguine, 4 rouleaux dont suit la description sommaire (communicated by M. Pinault)

[49] On the Vues of the Salons, see U. Van de Sandt, ‘Le Salon de l’Académie de 1759-81’, in Diderot et l’Art de Boucher à David, Paris, Hôtel de la Monnaie, 1984-85, exh. cat. The way in which the framing was carried out for the Salons is not discussed, but there are existing documents on this question

[50]  Diderot, op. cit., no 61, Un paralytique soigné par sa famille, Le Havre, Musée des Beaux-Arts et no 66, Le fils ingrat, Lille, Musée des Beaux-Arts; drawings made with the brush, washes of brown and grey ink, over black chalk

[51] E. Dacier, Catalogues de ventes et livrets de Salons illustrés par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, Paris, 1-2, 1909, Explication des Peintures, Sculptures et Gravures…, Paris, 1769, p. 15, no 67. On the manuscript of the Epistles and the Gospels (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale), and the Canons kept in the church of Notre-Dame de Versailles, see M. Roland-Michel, ‘Cochin illustrateur et le Missel de la chapelle royale’, Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, XXI, 1979, pp. 153-79, and Trois siècles de histoire de Notre-Dame de Versailles, Paroisse Royale, Versailles, Hôtel de Ville, 1986, exh. cat.

[52] Dacier, op. cit., 5-6, 1911, Explication des Peintures, Sculptures et Gravures…, Paris, 1761, p. 21, no 78

[53] See F. Bourdier, ‘L’extravagant cabinet de Bonnier’, Connaissance des Arts, no 90, August 1959, pp. 52-59

[54] Louvre, inv. R.F. 28983. Long considered to represent the salon of the Marquis de Marigny, this drawing was recently identified by S. Vavchitz-Koehler, ‘Un dessin d’Hubert Robert: le salon du bailli de Breteuil à Rome’, La Revue du Louvre et des musées de France’, 1987, 5/6, pp. 369-78

[55] The ‘Portrait présumé de Voltaire, assis à sa table’, watercolour heightened with gouache, 22.2 x 17 cm., was sold by Charpentier, Paris, 19 March 1958, lot 2, reproduced in cat. The ‘chambre du Coeur de Voltaire’ in Ferney was lined with engraved and framed portraits; see B. Gagnebin, ‘La chambre de Voltaire à Ferney’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, December 1984, p. 230, fig. 5 

[56] Darin Bloomquist, ‘The Choiseul Box: a study of the duc de Choiseul’s furniture’, Furniture History, vol. 40, 2004, p. 53

[57] See the  Catalogue des tableaux et dessins originaux… qui composaient le Cabinet de feu Charles Natoire, ancien Professeur et Directeur de l’Académie de France à Rome, Paris, 14 December 1778, p. 18

[58] Quotations taken from the Livre-Journal of Lazare Duvaux, jeweller to Louis XV, in Le Cadre…, Bruxelles, 1928: ‘2 January 1751. Mme la Marquise de Pompadour: two frames of cedar-wood with clear glass for two drawings, 6 livres.’

‘25 June 1752. Mme la Marquise de Pompadour: a small flowered frame for a print, the pendant to M. Sevin’s, paid to the Sieur Oebenne, 48 livres. The glass, mount and hanger, 21. 10 sols. Paid to the Sieur de Vaugoudy for packaging and shipping to Marly, 1 livre 6 sols.’

[59] Catalogue de tableaux des écoles hollandaise, flamande et française, Dessins de Fragonard, Robert et autres… Provenant du Cabinet de M. Gros, peintre, Paris, 13 April 1778, no 68, reproduced, Dacier, op. cit., 7, 1913. Several drawings in this sale are sketched [by Saint-Aubin} with indications of a frame, which is consistent with the frequency of the description, ‘glazed’

[60] For his framing requirements Cochin turned to Joullain, ‘Marchand de tableaux et d’estampes, fournitures de cadres pour dessins et gravures’ (dealer in paintings and prints; supplies frames for drawings and engravings), or to Massé, who provided him, at one time, with ‘Les bordures et verres blancs’ (frames with clear glass), at another a montage of ‘54 dessins faits d’après les tableaux de Versailles et achetés par le Roi’ (54 drawings after the paintings of Versailles, purchased by the King) in 1750, with ‘bordures dorées et glaces’ (giltwood frames and glazing). See Paris, National Archives 01 1921B, Cochin dossier, pièce 10 et 01 1921A,  and Massé dossier, pièce 1. These excerpts (provided by M.-C. Sahut) are given only as examples

[61] Dacier, op. cit., 3-4, 1910, Explication des Peintures, Sculptures et Gravures…, Paris, 1777, p. 10, nos 37-47.

[62] For Mariller’s drawing, see the catalogue of the sale at the Hôtel George V in Paris, 23 June 1976, no 9.

[63] The Pallavicini Rospigliosi drawing has remained in the collection since it was produced in 1668 by Schor, for Pope Clement IX: ‘Study for a costumed figure from the comedy La Baldassara’ mentioned in 1833 as ‘con vetro avanti e cornice di pero filettato d’oro’ (a glazed pearwood frame with gilt fillet’). Cf G. Fusconi, ‘Disegni decorativi di Johan Paul Schor’, Bolettino d´arte, 1986, nos 33-34, p. 170, n.74, fig 27

[64] Louvre, inv. R. F. 29455. On this question, see Lina Propeck in L’an V : dessins des grands maîtres, ed. Arlette Sérullaz, exh. cat, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 23 June-26 September 1988, Paris, Réunion des Musées Nationaux. In Florence drawings were only exhibited regularly in the Uffizi from 1854; see Forlani Tempesti, op. cit., p. 199

[65] At the same time, between 1790-1800, Basset the woodworker made frames for, and mounted on panels, forty miniatures detached from the Heures d’Étienne Chevalier (Chantilly, Musée Condé), probably at the time when private libraries were put up for auction during the Revolution. See J.-Y. Ribault, in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, XLVIII, December 1981, p. 200