General Bonchamps Shown in a Pose Designed for His Tomb (recto), 1824
Graphite, pen, and brown ink (recto); graphite (verso)
21.4 x 28 cm
Signed lower right
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York;
Purchase, Karen B. Cohen Gift, 1989 (1989.286.1)
A prolific draftsman, David often made multiple preliminary sketches for his sculptures. This schematic drawing outlines the composition of his Monument to Bonchamps (1824), a reduced bronze version of which is exhibited nearby. David references an ancient Greek sculpture of a river god from the recently discovered Elgin marbles (British Museum), which he had seen in London in 1816 (see below). He transforms that languidly reclining figure with the addition of a raised arm and a more upright orientation of the torso, a preview of the expressive urgency and instantaneity that characterize the finished statue.