29/10/23 - Acquisition - Paris, Musée du Louvre - It is a majestic, mythical and major sheet - accumulation is possible here - that has recently joined the French collections after more than three years of suspense leading to fears that it would go to a foreign private collection: classified Trésor national in spring 2020 (see news item of 31/3/20), Marine Terrace (ill. 1) was finally acquired by the Société des Amis du Louvre and had even briefly appeared on the various databases of the Paris museum . Although we have already twice stressed the vital importance of this drawing by Victor Hugo, without ignoring any of the twists and turns in its recent history, it is impossible not to mention the recent clash between our fellow journalist of La Gazette Drouot, Vincent Noce, and the collector and art historian Louis-Antoine Prat, president of the Société des Amis du Louvre since summer 2016. Their discussions, to which we refer our readers, were separated by a three-month summer break: in a mood note, Vincent Noce was indignant about the Louvre’s current acquisitions policy, citing in no particular order the double-sided drawing by Goya and the terracotta by Michel Colombe (see the news item of 30/11/22) or the maquette by Michel Anguier (see the news item of 21/6/23) before mentioning the now famous Cimabue from Senlis and the Panier de fraises des bois by Chardin, both of which were sold for twenty-four million euros before being classified as a Trésor national.
- 1. Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Marine Terrace, 1855
Pen and brown wash, red gouache, charcoal - 42 x 33 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo: Studio Sébert
- See the image in its page
In a lengthy right of reply published in La Gazette Drouot on 13 October, Louis-Antoine Prat responded passionately to the arguments put forward by Vincent Noce, before firmly defending his decision - voted unanimously by the members of the board of directors - to acquire the drawing with a view to donating…