Portrait of Voltaire, after His Bust by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne II

Augustin de Saint-Aubin1770s

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Augustin de Saint-Aubin is best known for reproductive engraving he made after portraits painted or sculpted by other artists. He produced this design in preparation for one such engraving; its engaging likeness of Voltaire records not a portrait sitting with the great Enlightenment philosopher himself but a careful study of his bust, which Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne II had sculpted in 1748. Having made the drawing with a graphite pencil, Saint-Aubin delicately scored it with a sharp implement to facilitate its transfer to a copper plate for engraving. The verso of the sheet is covered in red chalk: a further deposit of the transfer process.


  • Title: Portrait of Voltaire, after His Bust by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne II
  • Creator: Augustin de Saint-Aubin
  • Date Created: 1770s
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 18.4 × 13.5 cm (7 1/4 × 5 5/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Graphite, scored, with red chalk used for transfer on the reverse
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2017.25
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Marty de Cambiaire in honor of Lee Hendrix
  • Creator Display Name: Augustin de Saint-Aubin (French, 1736 - 1807)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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