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Anne Leclair

(b Paris, 1701; d Paris, 1779).

French collector, goldsmith, draughtsman and engraver. He was a member of a Parisian family of goldsmiths. In 1756 he became an alderman of the city of Paris, an appointment that conferred nobility. He was a great connoisseur who numbered among his friends artists, art dealers and art lovers, including Edmé-François Gersaint, Jean-Georges Wille and Pierre-Jean Mariette, with whom he collaborated in publishing a work on Edme Bouchardon’s equestrian statue of Louis XV (Paris, Place Louis XV; destr.). On Mariette’s death, the King urged Lempereur to purchase for him the whole of his famous collection (see Mariette family, §4); the negotiations broke down, but Lempereur did succeed in buying 1300 drawings (Paris, Louvre).

Lempereur himself also gathered together a superb collection of works of art (1218 items, sold 24 May 1773). The greater part of the drawings from Italy and the Netherlands (such as those by Raphael and ...