X. Pierre Louis Dubus de Préville

Entered October 2017; revised August 2019

Fig 1

Cambridge, Harvard University, Fogg Museum, inv. 1939.107.

Oil on canvas

Diameter 20.3 cm



Commedia dell’Arte Actor

Head of an Actor, Preville(?) of the Comédie française



New York, collection of Grenville L. Winthrop (1846-1943; lawyer); donated to the Fogg Museum in 1939.



Bowron, European Paintings (1990), cat. 227.


Although classified as “in the style of Jean-Antoine Watteau,” the painting has little to do with the manner of Watteau or his followers. All that it shares with that artist is the subject matter, namely the world of the comedic theater.


Abreuvoir Engraving
Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Portrait of Pierre Louis Dubus de Préville. Musée de la Comédie française, Paris.


Joseph Baillio has kindly pointed out that the so-called Watteau portrait is actually a reduction of the head and torso of Vigée-Lebrun's Portrait of the comedian Pierre Louis Dubus de Préville (1721-1799).