View of Campo Santo d’Orléans – Humorous Scene, 1823


Nineteenth century humorous scene, representing a view of the east corner of the north gallery of the old Grand Cemetery of Orléans (France), located near the Sainte-Croix cathedral.

From the 12th to the end of the 18th century, Campo Santo served as a cemetery. It was called the Martroi-aux-Corps or the Grand Cemetery at the time. In 1776, in France, many changes took place concerning cemeteries located within the cities. Legislative changes took place through a royal declaration that prohibited burial in churches and within cities. In Orléans, the episcopal ordinance of August 7, 1786, led to the implementation of this legislation. The remains and bones were then transferred to two new cemeteries: Saint-Jean and Saint-Vincent. After the removal of the cemetery, the Campo Santo seemed to be practically abandoned until the day when, under the Restoration, a project was carried out to build a wheat market in the vast, free-standing enclosure; this hall, built in 1824-1826, was transformed in 1884 into a party room.

This drawing depicts on the right a portion of the eastern gallery under which one can still see racks and horse feeders, remains of the establishment under the galleries of the Grand Cemetery, equestrian quarters established at that time. On the left in the foreground, a dog is doing its business with its back to the viewer.

Drawn in India ink, white-washed and heightened with white chalk on paper, this drawing bears an illegible signature on the lower right with the date “20 Nov. 1823”. There is a slight crease above the dog.


Artist: Unknown (illegible)

Signed and dated on bottom right.

Medium: Ink and chalk white-wash on paper.

Condition: Very good condition.

Dimensions: 30 x 22 cm / 11 3/4 x 8.5 in. (visible).

Frame: 45 x 33 cm / 17 3/4 x 13 in. Contemporary classic style, gilt wood. Mat and non-reflective museum glass.

Provenance: Versailles, France.


Price on request