Natoire produced this drawing based on a fresco by Guillaume Courtois, known as Il Borgognone (1628–1679), that decorates a vaulted ceiling in the Palazzo Dorio-Pamphili in Valmontone. Carrying his trident, Neptune skims the ocean waves in a chariot attended by the gods Nereus and Oceanus, his son, Triton, and a dolphin. Able to raise tempests and calm the sea, Neptune gestures toward darkened clouds where two blowing faces personify the winds. Natoire’s fluid brushstrokes and vibrant use of color exemplify the characteristic sensuality of his watercolors.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: The Triumph of Neptune
  • Creator: Charles Joseph Natoire (French, 1700-1777)
  • Date Created: 1766 or later
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 23.8 x 34.1 cm (9 3/8 x 13 7/16 in.); Mounted: 34 x 44 cm (13 3/8 x 17 5/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Estate of the artist; his sale, M. Chariot and P.A. Paillet, Paris, December 14ff., 1778 (Lugt, "Ventes," no. 2928), part of lot 95: "Des Fleuves, des Naïades, & pour pendant le Triomphe de Neptune; ces deux Dessins aquarelles sont de forme cintrée du haut"; sold for 104 livres to De Berre [possibly Marquis de Calvière]; his sale, M. Chariot and C.P. Joullain, Paris, May 5ff., 1779 (Lugt, "Ventes" no. 2996), part of lot 84: "Deux Fleuves & quatre Nayades" [possibly sale, Morel and Lebrun, Paris March 19ff., 1786] (Lugt, "Ventes," no. 4025), part of lot 365: "Duex dessins coloriés; l'un représentat le Triomphe des Fleuves & Nayades; l'autre offer le Triomphe de Neptune: ces deux beaux dessins méritent une distinction particulière parmi les ouvrages de ce maître]; Sir Francis Ferrand Foljambe (1750-1814), Osberton Hall, Scofton near Worksop, Nottinghamshire; thence by descent
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2013.48
  • Medium: Watercolor and black chalk on two sheets of cream laid paper
  • Inscriptions: lower right, in pen and brown ink: C. Natoire verso, on mount, in pen and brown ink: No 5
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Severance and Greta Millikin Trust
  • Collection: DR - French
  • Accession Number: 2013.48

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps