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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Jacques-Louis David, French (Paris 1748 - 1825 Brussels)
Study for "The Oath of the Tennis Court"
Work Type
c. 1790
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Brown and black ink and graphite, squared in graphite, on off-white antique laid paper
66.2 x 99 cm (26 1/16 x 39 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower left, graphite, in artist's hand: les pierres / sont Blanches
  • watermark: Shield with beehive; countermark: J. HONIG / ZOONEN
  • inscription: center left, graphite, in artist's hand: 8 planches sur le couloir; also notations indicating width and depth of the balcony at upper right: 3p-4, 2p-6; the width of the roof: 8 plus...; and height of columned ledge on the arcade on the left: 2p-8


Recorded Ownership History
Given by the artist to his student José de Madrazo y Agudo; his son Federigo de Madrazo y Kuntz; his son Mariano Fortuny y Marsal; his son Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo; acquired through Martin Birnbaum by Grenville L. Winthrop, october 1934 (Fr. 25,000); his bequest to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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The drawing was previously folded into sixteenths, although currently the folds dividing it into eighths are more visible. On the verso, two of the eight sections are covered in brown wash strokes, presumably offloading the brush or testing (by David or someone else).

Publication History

  • David Lloyd Dowd, Pageant-Master of the Republic, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1948), pg. 38, no. 57, pl. 8
  • Steven Alan Nash, "The Drawings of Jacques-Louis David: Selected Problems" (1973), Stanford University Press, pp. 98, 111, 222, no. 270, fig. 121
  • Philippe Bordes, "Jacques-Louis David's 'Serment du Jeu de Paume': Propaganda without a Cause?", Oxford Art Journal, Oxford University Press (UK) (Oxford, October 1980), 3, pg. 569
  • Arlette Sérullaz, "Un carnet de croquis de Jacques-Louis David", La revue du Louvre, Conseil des musées nationaux (Paris, 1980), 2, p. 107, no. 14
  • Antoine Schnapper, David, témoin de son temps, La Bibliothèque des Arts and Office du Livre (Paris; Fribourg, 1980), pp. 108, 112, fig. 53
  • Philippe Bordes, "Le Serment du Jeu de Paume" de Jacques-Louis David: Le peintre, son milieu et son temps, de 1789 à 1792.", Notes et documents de musées de France, Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux (1983), 8, no. 24, fig. 83, and pp. 42, 50, 57, 104, nn. 129-30, p. 196 under no. 13, p. 198 under no. 17, pg.199 under no. 19, pg. 212 under no. 26 (fo. 20v), pg. 228 under no. 27 (fol. 17v, 20v)pg. 229 under no. 27 (fol. 22r)
  • Wolfgang Kemp, "Das Revolutionstheater des Jacques-Louis David: Eine neue Interpretation des Schwurs im Ballhaus.", Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft, Verlag des Kunstgeschichtlichen Seminars der Universität Marburg an der Lahn (Marburg, 1986), 21, pp. 167 (fig. 5), 169
  • Antoine Schnapper and Arlette Sérullaz, ed., Jacques-Louis David, 1748-1825, exh. cat., Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1989), pp. 246-48, fig. 74
  • Bernard Noël, L. David, Crown Publishers Inc. (New York, NY, 1989), repro. pg. 33
  • Jean-Jacques Lévêque, La vie et l'oeuvre de Jacques-Louis David, ACR Édition (Courbevoie (Paris), 1989), repro. pg. 99
  • Denis Milhau, "Discours d'histoire, discours d'actualité: Quelques remarques à propos de David et de la modernité.", Bulletin du Musée Ingres, Société des amis du Musée Ingres (Montauban, 1990), 61-62, pg. 98
  • Arlette Sérullaz, Dessins de Jacques-Louis David, 1748-1825, Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, 1991), under nos. 197, 207, 226 (fol. 20, 22r)
  • M. Volpi, "David anacronista", Studi in onore di Giulio Carlo Argan, La Nuova Italia Editrice (Florence, 1994), pp. 288-89, fig. 3 (reversed)
  • Agnes Mongan, David to Corot: French Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1996), cat. no. 69, repr.
  • Milena Kalinovska, New Histories, exh. cat., ed. Lia Gangitano, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (Boston, MA, 1996), repr. p. 129
  • Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, Jacques-Louis David 1748-1825: Catalogue raisonné des dessins, Leonardo Arte (Milan, 2002), no. 116, repro.
  • Vincent Pomarède, "La Collection Winthrop: A la recherche de la beauté pure", L'Estampille/L'Objet d'art (April 2003), no. 379, pp. 34-45, repr. p. 37 (color)
  • Richard Wrigley, "'Le Serment du Jeu de paume' de Jacques-Louis David et la représentation de l'homme du peuple en 1791", Revue de l'Art (2003), no. 141, pp. 9-24, pp. 12-13, figs. 7, 8 (detail)
  • Anne Bertrand, "Winthrop: le dessein d'une collection", L'Oeil (March 2003), no. 545, p. 46
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), cat. no. 17, repr. (color), p. 29
  • Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 17, repr.
  • Louis-Antoine Prat, Le dessin français au XIXe siècle, Somogy Éditions d'Art (Paris, 2011), repr. p. 46 as fig. 79
  • Ewa Lajer-Burcharth and Elizabeth M. Rudy, ed., Drawing: The Invention of a Modern Medium, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 119, 121, 282, repr. p. 116 as fig. 1
  • Perrin Stein, ed., Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (New York, 2022), pp. 188-189, repr. p. 189 as fig. 109
  • The Exceptional Sale, auct. cat., Christie's, Paris (Paris, November 22, 2022), p. 116, repr. as fig. 2

Exhibition History

Verification Level

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