Triumph of Neptune
Bernard (Toro) Turreau (1672-1731)
Chalk (black), pen and ink (Indian) on paper
Width: 27.8 cm; Height: 14.2 cm;
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952
About this work
A base line in black chalk establishes a foundation for this extremely refined drawing by the ornament carver Bernard Toro. The movement of the procession is conveyed by the prancing sea-horses and the energetic flight of infants bearing bull rushes and watering urns to which the horses seem to react. Ornament and figure combine in the real and carved putti at either side of Neptune’s knee and in the putto at the head of the cavalcade, whose left leg becomes leaf in a C-scroll that terminates the design. The subtlety of line, the careful rendering of finely graded relief by wash, and the suggestion of narrative in the gestures and expressions of the figures together repay careful and sustained looking. They raise the possibility that this design was intended for the amateur of drawings rather than for a craftsman.
(Permanent collection label)
This work is not on display
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London