The Harvard Art Museums house one of the most significant collections of works on paper in North America. Among its many strengths are sheets by draftsmen of the French School, including notable masters such as Simon Vouet, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Following an introductory essay that charts the formation of this group of drawings, this catalogue provides thorough entries on more than 100 outstanding examples from the 16th to 18th century that encompass a range of genres and motifs—from landscapes and figure studies to historical and mythological scenes—many of which were produced for major commissions or mark key moments in the development of style and taste in early modern France. Alvin L. Clark Jr. marshals his decades-long engagement with these works, pairing a discerning eye with perceptive readings that deepen our understanding of the drawings and their makers.
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