La chimère de Monsieur Desprez, c. 1777-1784

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An inscription that accompanied later editions of this image attests to this creature's predations: "The beast, born in the burning sands of Africa, lived in the ruined palace once belonging to Masinissa (ca. 240-148 B.C.), the former ruler of Numidia, a retreat which the chimera left only to devour animals and unwary travelers. Neither land nor sea could contain the monster, who moved ceaselessly over both in his unending hunt. Here, a blazing sun and an arch describe the chimera's African habitat; the ground is crawling with reptiles and strewn with the remains of victims."

La chimère de Monsieur Desprez
Artist Life
1743 - 1804
Accession Number
(Georges Martin du Nord, France); sold to MIA, 1984.
Catalogue Raisonne
Wollin 22 ii/v; Baudicour 6; BN 23
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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