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Pencil drawing and a related engraving by the French neoclassical artist Henri-Guillaume Chatillon of a classical male statue called Apollon dit L'Adonis. The drawing was rendered as a preparatory or related drawing to the print, which was published in 1829 in Musée Français, a book of engravings by Chatillon and other renowned artists of the Empire period, recording the great works of art displayed at the Louvre before 1815, when many of them were returned to countries that had previously ceded them to Napoleon. The print was both drawn and engraved by Chatillon, most likely from another drawing made at a slightly different angle. The work is executed in a smoothly modeled neoclassical style, delineating the volumes of the form in space. A pencil inscription on the back notes that it was "purchased by L. White, October 1872."
The images in Musée Français are at once accurate records of the Greco-Roman statues they depict and elegant works of art in their own right, created by some of the leading engravers of the period. Such prints were of interest to both art historians and world travelers on the Grand Tour eager to bring home a souvenir of the classical past. The Musée du Louvre was inaugurated in the year 1800 as the Musée Central des Arts, a repository and gallery for France's great art treasures. It was assumed that its collection would be enlarged by treasures taken by conquest. So when Napoleon invaded Italy and the papal states in the late 18th century, many priceless antique marble statues were ceded by treaty to France and installed in the Louvre. After the defeat of the French, most of these works of art were returned to their rightful owners in 1815.
Henri-Guillaume Chatillon was an artist and engraver who studied with the French neoclassical painter Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824). Chatillon produced many prints after Girodet and other artists, as well as engraving his own drawings of classical and Renaissance artwork. Among the large series to which he contributed engravings were Musée Français edited by Duchesne Aine and a set of 54 engravings after Girodet illustrating the literary work Anacreon.
"Girodet de Roussy." The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia. http://90.1911encyclopedia.org/G/GI/GIRODET_DE_ROUSSY_A_L_.htm (19 May 2003).