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François-Hubert Drouais  (1727 - 1775)
The Comte and Chevalier de Choiseul as Savoyards, 1758
oil on canvas
Overall: 54 7/8 x 42 in. (139.4 x 106.7 cm)
Purchased by The Frick Collection, 1966
Accession number: 1966.1.164
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South Hall (141)
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Commentary: The standing boy with a hurdy-gurdy at his back is Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste, Comte de Choiseul-Beaupré (1752–1817). Beside him, pointing to a peep-show box, sits his younger brother, Michel-Félix-Victor, Chevalier de Choiseul-Daillecourt (1754–1815). The boys were cousins of the celebrated Duc de Choiseul, foreign minister under Louis XV. In costuming his subjects as Savoyards, the itinerants from Savoy who wandered over France working at odd jobs and in street fairs to support the families they left at home, Drouais probably intended to depict the brothers as models of filial devotion — a conceit reinforced by the presence of the faithful dog. It may be noted that the boys’ disheveled garments are made of sumptuous velvet and that their buttons are of gold.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.
Collections: Choiseul family. Vicomte Digeon. Baron Henri de Rothschild [1872–1947]. Wildenstein (Georges Wildenstein [1892–1963] acquired the work and kept it in his private collection until 1963). Frick, 1966.

Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: French, Italian and Spanish. Volume II. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.

Updated by the Curatorial Department in October 2008.