Search Details

Creator Thomas Rowlandson, 1756–1827, British
Title Place des Victoires, Paris
Alternate Title(s) La Place Des Victoires
La Place des Victoires [Paris]
Date ca. 1783
Medium Watercolor in pen and black ink over graphite on medium, moderately textured, cream antique laid paper
Dimensions Sheet: 13 3/4 x 21 inches (34.9 x 53.4 cm) Image: 13 3/4 x 21 inches (34.9 x 53.4 cm)
Inscribed in graphite, lower right on back: "IR 516", Watermarked, center on back (horizontal): [Strasburg Lily], Lettered center left within image (on plinth): "LOUIS LE GRAND"
Credit Line Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Accession Number B1981.17
Collection Prints and Drawings
Curatorial Comment The iniquities and excess of the ancient régime France were a popular target for British satirical art (see cats. 83-4). Thomas Rowlandson's watercolor draws on a number of stereotypes commonly associated with the French at this period - the suppositious adherence to the Catholic faith, indicated by the procession of monks and the looming presence of Notre-Dame (flaunting topographical accuracy, Rowlandson has placed the cathedral immediately behind Place de Victoires); an unquestioning devotion to the monarchy, signaled by the man in the sedan chair gazing raptly at the monument erected to Louis XIV in 1686; and a frivolous attachment to sartorial sonsiderations, represented by the fashionably dressed figures and the poodle dog wearing a wig. Two other versions of the composition are known, but it is likely that cat. 86 was the original watercolor exhibited by Rowlandson at the Society of Artists in 1783. The image was engraved and published in Britain shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, presumably in response to the considerable public interest generated by the tumultuous events in France. Rowlandson clearly derived pleasure from ridiculing the French and produced many watercolors on this theme, but his relationship with France seems to have been more complex than his John Bullish stance might suggest. Raised by his French-speaking aunt Jane (née Chevalier), Rowlandson visited the country on a number of occasions, and his sophisticated and refined drawing style, which often seems at odds with his robust subject matter, owes much to French rococo art.
     -- Gillian Forrester, 2001-05
Link to This Record
Subject Terms architectural subject | building | carriages | carts | cathedral | celebration | chaos | cityscape | costume | dogs (animals) | figures | French | genre subject | Grand Tour | humor | monk | music | musician | plaza | satire | satirical | sculpture | snakes | statue | street | victory | violin | violinist | walking
Place Represented Europe | France | Notre-Dame | Paris | Place des Victoires

Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977-1986, Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1986, pp. 5, 29, no. 118, color plate 6, N590.2 A7 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Mathew Thomas Payne, Regarding Thomas Rowlandson, 1757-1827, his life, art & acquaintance, Hogarth Arts, London, 2010, pp.65,132,140..., Pl. III, NJ18 R79 P39 2010 (YCBA)

Patrick Noon, A Princely Amateur, Paul Mellon and his Collection of British Drawings, Master Drawings, vol. 38, no. 3, Master Drawings Association, Inc., Fall, 2000, p. 342, fig. 4, NC1 M37 (YCBA) , Another copy available as item VF 2329

Duncan Robinson, Acquisitions : The First Decade 1977 - 1986, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 128, October 1986, pp. 5, 29, no. 118, col. pl. 6, N1 B87 128:3 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Malcolm Baker, The marble index : Roubiliac and sculptural portraiture in eighteenth-century Britain, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 28, 30, 35, fig. 31, NB466 .B355 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Citation Show | Text or SMS | Email
Export RDF |  XML
If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.