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Dugourc, Jean Démosthène or Dugourelocked

French, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1749, in Versailles; died 1825, in Paris.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, sculptor, draughtsman (wash), engraver, decorative artist. Mythological subjects, allegorical subjects, historical portraits, hunting scenes, interiors with figures, gardens. Stage costumes and sets, furniture, designs for fabrics, frontispieces.

Dugourc's father, who was in the service of the Duke of Orléans, had a considerable fortune. Dugourc was permitted to attend the lessons taken by the Duke of Chartres (the future Philippe-Égalité), and at the age 15 left for Rome, attached to the embassy of the Count of Cani. From his infancy, he had shown an aptitude for drawing, perspective and architecture. However, the death of his mother, followed shortly after by the loss of his father's fortune, changed his life. From being an amateur, Dugourc became a professional artist, and executed paintings, sculptures and engravings. In a work published in 1779 he set out some fundamental principles for the complete reform of theatrical costume. In 1780 he became the official draughtsman to the advisors of the Count of Provence, and directed the entertainments given at Brunoy. In 1781 the King of Sweden commissioned him to provide the designs for six operas performed in Stockholm. In 1782 he declined the invitation of Paul I, at that time Grand Duke of Russia, to come and work for him, but provided him with the designs of a gallery for the Palace of Camenoïstrof. He also drafted the plans for a palace for Empress Catherine II. In the same year he published six plates of engraved arabesques, a form of decoration that, together with Etruscan ornamentation, he had been the first to introduce, not only into architecture, but also furniture, wall-hangings and fabrics. In 1783 Dugourc was appointed director of decor and costume at the Opera, and the following year draughtsman to the furniture store of the Crown, and steward of the buildings of the Count of Provence. During the Revolution, he turned his attention to industry. He had a considerable influence on industrial art in Lyons, and the designs executed in that city by Pernon were directed by him. In Paris jewellery and bronzes, notably those created by Godon, were executed after consultation with him, and often to his designs.

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Lyons (Mus. des Arts Décoratifs): calques

Paris (Louvre)

Auction Records

Paris, 1898: Subject Depicting a Large Bed in an Alcove (watercolour) FRF 35

Paris, 27 Jan 1899: Frontispiece (Indian ink) FRF 115

London, 3 and 4 July 1899: Pheasant-Shooting Party (gouache) FRF 16,500

Paris, 16 Dec 1922: The Present, Mme du Barry and the Negro Zamore (pencil) FRF 500

Paris, 7 and 8 May 1923: Homage to Paul I (sepia wash) FRF 620

Paris, 6 Dec 1923: Desire and Mystery Leading Youth to Love; The Graces Leading Love to Fidelity (two Indian ink washes) FRF 2,810; The Loves of Psyche and Cupid; Love Wounded by its Arms; Psyche Saved by the Naiads; Psyche Arrives at the Fisherman's Lodging; Psyche Burns Love; Apotheosis of Psyche (five Indian ink washes) FRF 6,550

Paris, 19 March 1924: Invitation for a Celebration Given at Bagatelle (1780, graphite) FRF 425

Paris, 20 March 1924: Henry IV and Gabrielle d'Estrèes (graphite) FRF 1,005

Paris, 12 and 13 March 1926: Hindu Scene (pen and wash) FRF 260

Paris, 1-2 Dec 1932: The Bride's Awakening (gouache) FRF 76,000

Paris, 14 May 1936: The Desired Moment (gouache) FRF 1,300

London, 31 July 1946: Return from Hunting (gouache) GBP 29

New York, 7 March 1964: The Garden (gouache) USD 1,100

London, 9 Dec 1980: A Military Engineer in an Interior (1774, gouache, 7 × 5¼ ins/17.8 × 13.2 cm) GBP 2,600

Paris, 1 March 1985: View of Architecture with Two Figures and a Dog (1781, watercolour, 17¼ × 15 ins/44 × 38 cm) FRF 13,000

New York, 25 April 1985: The Loves of Psyche and Cupid (pen drawing and wash/outline in black chalk, series of five oval drawings, 8¾ × 6¾ ins/22.3 × 17.2 cm) USD 13,000

Paris, 15 May 1992: An Art Lover in an Art Collection (pen and grey wash, 9¾ × 7½ ins/25 × 19 cm) FRF 38,000

Monaco, 20 June 1992: The Toilette of Psyche; The Awakening of Psyche (black ink/varnished paper, a pair, 15 × 11½ ins/38 × 29.5 cm) FRF 7,770

Paris, 21 Feb 1996: Homage to Grand Duke Paul of Russia (1782, lead pencil and wash, 20¼ × 14½ ins/51.5 × 37 cm) FRF 12,200

London, 12 Dec 1996: Fireworks above a Palace and its Gardens (1799, black chalk, pen and grey ink heightened with white, 5¾ × 9 ins/14.5 × 22 cm) GBP 1,265

New York, 29 Jan 1997: Study for a Turkish Play (watercolour, 9 × 11¼ ins/22.9 × 28.6 cm) USD 11,500

Paris, 29 March 2000: Reveille of Marshal de Catinat. Officers Presented to Marshal de Catinat (1776, pen, ink, black crayon, grey wash, a pair, 7 × 14 ins/19 × 36 cm) FRF 45,000

Paris, 20 Oct 2000: Views of a Chalet for Aranjuez (pen, ink, brown wash, 12 × 26 ins/31 × 66 cm) FRF 22,000

Paris, 23 Nov 2001: Offering to Cupid. Offering of Flowers (gouache, a pair, oval, 6 × 8 ins/16 × 21 cm) FRF 56,000


  • Belhaouari, Luis: ‘Jean-Démosthène Dugourc graveur de Sacrifice à Vénus, d'après un tableau de Caspar Netscher anciennement dans les collections du Palais Royal’ in Nouvelles de l'Estampe n° 170, periodical, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, 2000.