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MS Thr 641

Fäsch, Johann Ludwig Wernhard, circa 1738-1778. Johann Ludwig Wernhard Fäsch drawings of actors and actresses, 1768: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Thr 641
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Fäsch, Johann Ludwig Wernhard, circa 1738-1778.
Title: Johann Ludwig Wernhard Fäsch drawings of actors and actresses,
Date(s): 1768.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in French.
Abstract: Watercolor drawings on vellum of actors and actresses in Paris, by Swiss artist Johann Ludwig Wernhard Fäsch.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

76M-67. Purchased with the F. E. Chase fund from Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., 43 Old Bond Street, London WIX 4BA, England and William H. Schab Gallery, Inc., 37 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019; received: 1976 July 13 and November 15.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Johann Ludwig Wernhard Fäsch Drawings of Actors and Actresses, 1768 (MS Thr 641). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Fäsch was a Swiss painter, illustrator, miniaturist, and portraitist, born in Basel circa 1738 and died in Paris in 1778. Fäsch studied law but soon became a painter. He later moved to Paris and also completed portraits in London. He was known under a number of names including: Jean Louis Fesch and Johann Ludwig Wernhard Faesch, as well as de Fesch, Foech, and Foesch. Fäsch is the first artist to be said with certainty to have drawn his subjects directly from actual performance.


Arranged alphabetically by title.

Scope and Contents

27 watercolor and graphite miniature drawings on vellum from 1768. Some appear to also include gouache and varnish. All are unsigned and have no location specified on the items, but all are from performances at theaters in Paris, France. Each drawing is pasted onto a board, some are matted. All include manuscript labels (on vellum) either pasted onto verso of board or pasted onto separate pressboard.
Subjects of the drawings are actors and actresses in various roles from the Comédie-Française, Comédie-Italienne (Paris, France), and Théâtre-Italien (Paris, France). Full name of actor is supplied if known.

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