Bateau de Mr deleuze dans le quel nous sommes allés a choysy en 1755.

(Boat belonging to Mr Deleuze in which we went to Choisy in 1755)

Artist or maker:
Saint-Aubin, Charles-Germain de (b.1721, d.1786)
The inscription states 1755
Place of Production:
Paris, France
watercolour, ink and graphite on paper
Accession number:
One of a set, see others


Brief Description:

A green boat floats through slightly choppy waters, its sail billowing towards the right. The boat is navigated by a man seated at the stern and wearing a matching jacket, trousers and hat with a flat crown. With both hands he holds the cords attached to the two upper corners of the sail. Two pale red pennants fly from the top of the mast, which is positioned towards the front of the ship, and from the ends of the yard (the horizontal spur on which the sail is set). A large pale red rectangular flag flies at the ship's stern.

A green canopy mounted on six elegant struts covers the centre of the boat. A green balustrade runs between the struts, which taper in the middle and are backed by swathes of red fabric. The corners and apex of the canopy are decorated with gold ornaments.

Curatorial Commentary

This seems to be a straightforward reference to a pleasure outing to Choisy-le-Roi (Val de Marne) on the river Seine. The identity of Deleuze is not clear, though a Pierre Deleuze was received in the Academy of Saint Luc in 1726 and he may well have been known to the Saint-Aubins. It seems unlikely however that, as an artist, this Deleuze would be the owner of such an elegant vessel as that depicted here.

This is one a considerable number of drawings in the “Livre de Caricatures” that depict real and imaginary modes of transport. They range from fantastical animal steeds (e.g. 675.14 and 675.66) through to bizarre conveyances (e.g. 675.61, 675.218). Charles-Germain’s inventive streak is also born out by the number of drawings of fantastical instruments (675.28, 675.29), flowers (675.106, 675.147), and weapons (675.202, 675.203).

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
187 x 132
Bateau de Mr deleuze dans le quel nous sommes / allés a choysy en 1755.
Inscribed by Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin, below image, in ink. The 'r' of 'Mr' is written in superscript.

Top left corner, in ink
Translation of inscription
Boat belonging to Mr Deleuze in which we went to Choisy in 1755
Pentimenti, around bow of ship, in graphite; the position of the bow has been moved several times on the page


Part of:
Livre de Caricatures tant bonnes que mauvaises. 675.1-389
Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957

Indexed terms