Study for Self-Portrait of the Artist and His Family in His Studio
Paul Claude-Michel Carpentier ( French, 1787 - 1877 )
- c. 1833
This drawing is a fully realized study for Paul Carpentier’s painting Self-portrait of the Artist and his Family in his Studio. Standing before his easel holding brushes and his palette, the artist confidently gazes outward. His wife, Adèle, and eleven-year-old daughter, Clémence, lovingly admire the very painting in which they are posing. Though a triple portrait, in many ways, the work's true subject is Carpentier’s professional status. Set in his studio, the drawing showcases the tools of the educated painter’s trade: easels, books, plaster casts of antique statuary from which to copy, and a wood chest containing art supplies.
Carpentier gave particular prominence to the painted plaster cast of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Seated Voltaire, which he bought from the 18th-century French sculptor’s estate. The French Enlightenment philosopher held personal meaning for Carpentier; he later gave the cast to the municipal library in his hometown of Rouen, where Voltaire first published his Lettres philosophiques in 1733.
Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2017.
DMA unpublished material.
- Days after acquiring the painting Self-Portrait of the Artist and His Family in His Studio (2014.38.FA), the Dallas Museum of Art was gifted this preparatory drawing.
Dallas Museum of Art, Uncrated
Read a DMA blog post about the acquisition of the Carpentier painting Self-Portrait of the Artist and His Family in his Studio.
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
Check out this essay on Paul Carpentier's Self-Portrait of the Artist and His Family in his Studio by Martha MacLeod.