Charles de Wailly

Charles de Wailly, Section through interior of salon, 1771, DM 1270 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Charles de Wailly (1730–1798), Section through the Interior of Salon, 1771. Pen, ink and wash on paper.

The high level of ornamental detail and the conspicuously novel elements of stove and fountain suggest that this drawing may have been among those exhibition-drawings that de Wailly sent to the Paris Salon from 1771 onwards, the year he was controversially admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.  Every element is present – water and fire, and also air, represented by the incense burners above the frieze, and earth, depicted in the small Bacchanalian reliefs.  All the viewer’s senses are thus powerfully addressed.


On ornamentation and a sensual interior in late-eighteenth century France, with the powerful use of colour that highlights the flatness rather than the depth of the wall, Dance Dance Revolution; on the octagonal construction of another, through the invention of drawing, Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine.