François-Marius GRANET (Aix-en-Provence 1775 - Malvallat 1849)

A Monk in his Cell Sold

Pen and brown ink and brown wash, with red and blue watercolour, over a underdrawing in black chalk.
Signed Granet at the lower left.
350 x 274 mm. (13 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.)


In his memoirs, Granet often makes reference to the priests and monks he met in Rome, whom he particularly admired for their devotion to their chosen calling. He produced a number of finished genre drawings of monks in their cells or at prayer, which are generally unrelated to paintings and are only occasionally dated. Such works found admirers throughout the artist’s clientele, and even Louis-Philippe himself wrote in a letter of 1826, ‘I like M. Granet’s souvenirs of Italy, those churches, those chapels, all that has a character I like, and then those ceremonies, those Italian priests or monks who delight me...All of this from the brush of M. Granet takes on a truth and vigor that carry one away...’

Granet treated the theme of painter-monks in a handful of works, such as a painting in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts et Archéologie in Besançon. A drawing by Granet of a similar subject, with two artist-monks in a cell, is in the collection of the British Museum. The present sheet may be dated to around 1822.

Dominique Brême et al, De Rubens à Delacroix: 100 dessins du musée des Beaux-Arts d’Angers, exhibition catalogue, Sceaux, 2014, p.96, under no.37, note 6 (entry by Véronique Boidard).

François-Marius GRANET

A Monk in his Cell


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