Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - Homme vu de dos
  • Homme vu de dos
    Jouvenet, Jean, born 1644 - died 1717
  • Enlarge image

Homme vu de dos

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1706 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jouvenet, Jean, born 1644 - died 1717 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Red and black chalk (pierre noire) on beige paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case TECHS

This drawing is a preparatory study for two of the figures of the attendants in the painting Supper in the house of Simon executed by Jouvenet in 1706. The drawing is squared in black chalk for transferring onto the canvas. This drawing is a fine example of Jouvenet’s artistic practice as he favoured sketches of lone figures rather than studies of the whole composition. Jean Jouvenet (1649-1717) studied under Charles Le Brun who was one of the founder-members of the Académie royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1648. Le brun was extremely concerned with the art education, including both theory and technique. Jouvenet followed his master's footpath in this matter and became director of the Académie at the time of the execution of the present study and finished painting.

Physical description

Study of a male figure seen from the back, wearing a large tunique and a turban; his arms are outstretched with his left hand closed while he is bending over his right knee. In the top right corner is an additional study of a man’s head seen in profile with a turban.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1706 (drawn)


Jouvenet, Jean, born 1644 - died 1717 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Red and black chalk (pierre noire) on beige paper

Marks and inscriptions

Recto on bottom right corner: Lugt 1852; inscribed in ink '585'; NAL dry stamp.


Height: 395 mm, Width: 283 mm, Height: 426 mm whole object Measured by Conservation, Width: 315 mm whole object Measured by Conservation

Object history note

Jean-Pierre Mariette (Lugt 1852); part of lot 1273 of the 1775 sale, bought by Joullain; A. Dyce (L.711bis), by whom bequeathed to the museum in 1869; NAL dry stamp (not in Lugt).

Historical context note

This drawing is a preparatory study for the figure of the attendant in the foreground of the painting Supper in the house of Simon (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon – A205) executed in 1706. The study of a head in profile on the top right corner is for the attendant bringing a tray on the right hand-side of the same painting. The drawing is squared in black chalk for transferring; this technique was often used as a method to transpose a preparatory study onto the definitive support.

Schnapper notes that Jouvenet seems to work by creating a sketch of the idea, followed by a general composition, subsequently detailed sketches of individual sections and eventually a refined “projet d’ensemble”. His technique, thus, is one of technical repetition, working on part or whole of an image. This dynamic movement between projects of composition and detailed studies makes Jouvenet unique amongst his contemporaries.

Jouvenet made other preparatory drawings for the painting Supper in the house of Simon: two studies for the attendant at the far right is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille (Inv. 3164), and in Alençon (Inv. 869-1-13). Another drawing shows the group of guests facing the Christ (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm – Inv. 2759).

The painting was originally part of a decorative cycle including Christ Driving the Money-changers from the Temple (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon), the Resurrection of Lazarus and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes (both Louvre, Paris) made for the nave of the benedictine priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris. The cycle was presented to the King Louis XIV in July 1705 when it was almost completed. The King was then so pleased that he ordered that tapestries should be made after the cycle. The tapestries were never achieved but Jouvenet supplied a cartoon after the Supper in the house of Simon to the Gobelins manufactory in 1711 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Arras).

Jouvenet was one of the most important painters of religious works in France in the late 17th century and the early 18th , having painted his most famous religious works between 1695 and 1707. At the time of the Supper in Emmaus, in 1706, Jouvenet had been elected director of the Académie and was about to became its rector.

Descriptive line

Drawing, Jean Jouvenet, Preparatory study of two figures for the painting 'Supper in the house of Simon', French School, 1706

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

DYCE COLLECTION. A Catalogue of the Paintings, Miniatures, Drawings, Engravings, Rings and Miscellaneous Objects Bequeathed by The Reverend Alexander Dyce, London : South Kensington Museum, 1874.
A. Schnapper, Jean Jouvenet. La peinture d'histoire a Paris, Paris, 1974, fig. 123, cat. 174.
A. Schnapper, Jean Jouvenet 1644-1717, exhibition catalogue, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, 1966, cat. no. 16.
P. Rosenberg, Les dessins de la collection Mariette, Ecole française, tome 1, cat. no. F2118.


Paper; Red chalk; Black chalk


Drawing (image-making); Squaring (transferring technique)




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

We need your help

Hello. We are working to improve our collections online and would like to understand better how our visitors use our site. Please could you spare two minutes to answer some questions?
Take the survey
No thanks. Continue to the V&A website