Jean Baptiste Coste
Marseille 1746 – Paris 1819
Black chalk, pen and black ink, grey wash. In his original mount.
Signed JB Coste lower right.
Mount 161 x 200 mm – 6 5/16 x 7 7/8 – Drawing 110 x 142 mm – 4 5/16 x 5 5/8 in.
A French painter and draftsman, Jean-Baptiste Coste was the son of the director of the Academy in Marseille. After a Parisian training, he left for Rome where, protected by Vien, he taught perspective drawing. He took part in the Salon from 1795 to 1808. At the request of the architect Mathurin Crucy, he worked on the decors of the Graslin theatre in Nantes. He is also the author of a drawing handbook, Cours d’étude de paysage, published in Paris by Marchand from 1809 to 1811. He also seems to have worked for the Duke of Angoulême’s porcelain manufactory, founded by Christophe Dihl, Antoine Guérhard and Louise François-Madeleine Croizé, and known for its fine painting technique with glimmering and meticulous effects. His daughter Zoé Coste was also a painter.
A draftsman above all, Coste was appreciated by his contemporary collectors and his works were found in prestigious collections such as those of Comte de Saint-Morys, part of which is nowadays in the Louvre (see sale 11 February 1786, lots 628 and 662), and Duc de Rohan-Chabot (sale on 10 December 1787, lot 226). It is worth mentioning that the drawing is in its original mount, and was therefore meant to be presented as it is.