Le Cabinet de M. Le Clerc (unfinished)
- Sebastien Le
Unfinished engraving of ‘Le Cabinet de M. Le Clerc’ by Sebastien Le Clerc (the elder), around 1711. Etching on paper. The Science Museum collection also includes a preparatory drawing for this print, likely the final design (see 1948-336).
The print shows a large room filled with scientific instruments, with windows on the right, and a large vestibule visible between two columns on the left. A group of men stand or sit around a table, seemingly in conversation. Two further preparatory drawings exist in the collections of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (EBA 1168) and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The title is taken from the cataloguing and study of those two drawings.
The print was bequeathed to the Science Museum in 1948 by George Hugh Gabb, with the title ‘The Physical Laboratory of the Académie des Sciences’ and accompanied by the preparatory drawing (1948-336). It was exhibited at a Royal Society soirée at Burlington House on 18 May 1938.
The print was likely intended as a pendant to Le Clerc’s most famous print ‘L’Académie des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts’ (1698-1706), which shows an idealised view of the two academies at the Louvre palace (see for example British Museum R,8.85).