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Villa Negroni and its Gardens

Among the numerous artists who visited the Villa Negroni during the eighteenth century—while studying at the French Academy in Rome—were Hubert Robert, François Hubert Drouais, Jean-Simon Berthélemy, and François André Vincent. Similarities in their styles and subject matter led to an earlier attribution of Robert for this beautiful sanguine drawing. However, a nearly identical drawing in the collection of the Bibliothèque municipale de Besançon gives the hand to Vincent, who arrived eight years after Robert’s departure. The appeal of the villa’s gardens was its natural beauty, including statuesque cypress trees, interspersed with the classical beauty of a collection of ancient sculpture. The statue of draped female figure seems to lead the viewer into the Arcadian paradise. Vincent produced another chalk drawing of the garden from a different direction (now in a private New York collection).

François André Vincent
French, 1746–1816
Villa Negroni and its Gardens (Villa Negroni et ses jardins)
1771–75
Red chalk on paper
Image: 11 ¾ x 16 in. (29.8 x 40.6 cm); sheet: 13 ¼ x 17 ½ in. (33.6 x 44.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Arnold Marks, 91.449