Pierre-René Choudieu

Pierre-René Choudieu, 1832
Wax on slate
14 x 12.4 cm
Collection Dr. Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher

Cat. 10

“I pursue always my gallery of great men,” wrote David in 1830–31. “One sees me, running with my little slate, as if I were going to meet immortality.” The city of Angers was well known for its local slate quarries, and David used the stone as a support for his wax models. In this portrait of a Republican politician and prosecutor, the deep blue-green slate provides a lively contrast to the vibrant red of the tinted wax. David’s interest in portraiture reflects the dramatic increase in popularity of that genre in the early nineteenth century. For David, one of the most prolific portraitists of his age, the depiction of the human face was “the great career to which modern art is called.”