223. [French school]
Drawing, black chalk, charcoal, 42 x 31,4 cm, velin paper, signed in pencil at lower left "Hilaire Ledru" (damp stains and foxing in margins).
Under gilt frame (not studied outside frame).
Magnificent drawn portrait of a young gentleman in empire-fashion clothing. Most likely a highly-ranked Napoleonic figure. The French painter Hilaire Le Dru was particularly known for his portraits of French republican and Napoleonic generals. He exhibited a drawing of Napoleon at the 1796 Salon, of which it has previously been suggested that it is the present drawing.
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