Carmontelle Captures Voltaire’s Favorite Actor

La Gazette Drouot
Published on

A work by the virtuoso draughtsman reappears, putting the stars of 18th-century Parisian theater back in the spotlight: Voltaire and one of his best performers, Jean-Baptiste Brizard. Louis Carrogis, known as Carmontelle (1717-1806), The Actor Jean-Baptiste Brizard Playing Narbas in Merope at the Comédie-Française in 1765, black pencil, red chalk and watercolor on two sheets assembled on an old mount, 31 x 19 cm (12.2 x 7.4 in). Estimate: €6,000/8,000 In this watercolor drawing, the subject, dressed in a caftan and long Middle Eastern-like dress, theatrically implores the sky with eyes and fists raised... And with good reason: Jean-Baptiste Britard, known as Brizard

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