Sculpture of a reading Angel
  • Jean-Robert Ango
  • France ? - 1773 Rome
  • Sculpture of a reading Angel
  • Red chalk, framing lines with pen and black ink, on strong paper, on an old mount
  • 274 × 202 mm
Private collection, Paris
Private collection, Northern Germany

Jean-Robert Ango spent the majority of his artistic life in Rome. Although surprisingly little is known about his career, he left behind a large oeuvre of drawings – almost exclusively in red chalk, like most of his French colleagues also preferred at the time1. Ango evidently cultivated close contacts with his fellow countrymen in Rome, like Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), who stayed in Rome from 1756-61. Even the famous Abbé de Saint-Non collected Ango’s drawings.

An especially close friendship, however, Ango formed with his role model Hubert Robert (1733-1808), to whom he dedicated a number of his sheets during their shared time in Italy, from 1754-64; later, this often led to incorrect attributions.

In addition to architectural motives from ancient Rome, JeanRobert Ango was most thematically interested in studies after the great Renaissance and Baroque models in the city’s churches and palaces. He apparently found this sculpture of an angel with a scroll in this way, visible beneath Corinthian capitals in the spandrel of one of the grand Baroque churches in the Eternal city.

  1. Marianne Roland-Michel: Un peintre français nommé Ango, Burlington Magazine, December 1981, no. 40: L’Art du Dix-huitième siècle