Achilles swearing revenge beside the bier of Patroclus (recto); Study of three standing figures (verso)
black chalk, brush and brown wash, gray wash, squared for transfer in black chalk (recto); black chalk (verso), watermark ‘Van der Ley’ and figure of a child standing on a globe with ‘VDL’
1012 x 1434 in. (26.5 x 37.5 cm)
The artist’s nephew, Henri-Alexandre Gérard (1818-1903), Paris; by descent
Count Maximilien Sébastien Foy (1900-1967), Paris; by inheritance to his wife
Elvira Popescu, Comtesse Foy (1894-1993).
Private collection, Paris.
with Jill Newhouse, New York (Baron François Gérard (1770-1837), 1992, pp. 38-39, ill.).
probably H. Gérard, Œuvre du baron François Gérard, III, Paris, 1857, under ‘Dessins et aquarelles’ (without pagination).
E. Lerner, François Gérard (1770-1837) peintre dhistoire, Ph.D. dissertation, Paris IV, 2005, no. 290.
C. Marcheteau de Quinçay, ‘Les Fantômes du musée (II). Achille jurant de venger la mort de Patrocle, du baron François Gérard (1770-1837)’, Cahiers de Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen & des Amis des Musées de Basse-Normandie, no. 2, 2012, p. 25, ill.
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Lot Essay

This is a study for a monumental painting destroyed during World War II (fig. 1). The work was the fruit of a long and laborious process. For many years Gérard worked on a composition on the theme of Achilles and Patroclus (see C. Marcheteau de Quinçay, op. cit., pp. 22-35). He created a first version of the painting in 1814, but, unsatisfied with the result, destroyed it soon after. The present drawing is one of the studies for the second version, on which he worked with interruptions from 1830 until his death. Although left unfinished, Gérard’s nephew, who also owned this drawing, donated it to the museum in Caen, where it remained until the city’s destruction.
Fig. 1. François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, called Baron Gérard, Achilles swearing to avenge the death of Patroclus, destroyed during World War II. Formerly Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen.

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