Théodore Géricault from Private Collections

Théodore Géricault drawings , watercolors and small oils from private collections


Drawings, Watercolors and Small Oils from Private Collections Théodore Géricault

in association with Art Cuéllar-Nathan, Zurich

catalogue by Amy Kurlander Jill Newhouse

chronology and bibliography by Bojana Popovic Jasmine Chohan

Jill Newhouse Gallery 4 East 81 st Street New York, NY 10028 Tel ( 212 ) 249-9216 email:

This catalogue accompanies an exhibition on view from June 9 to July 31, 2014

Jill Newhouse Gallery 4 East 81 st Street New York, NY 10028 Tel ( 212 ) 249-9216 email:

cover: A Dappled Grey Horse Led by a Groom (detail, cat. 17 )


To be able to view a group of 25 drawings and small oils by an important artist who died so young is indeed a rare and special event. In 1986 when the gallery was beginning to develop a specialty in 19 th-century French works on paper, I had the good fortune to meet Jacqueline Dubaut, daughter of Pierre Dubaut, the renowned collector of works by Géricault. Thanks to her, I was able to have for sale many drawings and watercolors by the artist, and to mount a small exhibition of Géricault’s works on paper in New York later that year. It was shortly thereafter that I had the further good fortune to meet the dealer Peter Nathan, his daughter Corinne and her husband Arturo Cuéllar. The Nathan family has a long tradition in collecting the works of Géricault. Thanks in large part to these two friendships, the gallery today is able to continue its series of monographic exhibitions, begun in 1983 , with this show of works by Théodore Géricault ( 1794–1824 ), the brilliant and tragic artist whose life and oeuvre has come to symbolize French Romanticism. Géricault drawings have not been exhibited in the United States since the Morgan Library show in 1985 , and an exhibition of the paintings was last held at the Metropolitan Museum in 1989 . I am especially grateful to Amy Kurlander for her research; Christa Savino, gallery director; Cassity Miller, assistant in the gallery; and Lawrence Sunden for his graphic design. Their help has been invaluable and constant. I would also like to thank as well the very generous collectors whose loans were crucial to the exhibition, as well as friends and colleagues who were very helpful in various ways: Fred Bancroft; Jean-Luc Baroni; Frances Beatty, Richard L. Feigen and Assoc.; Bruno Chenique for his continuing study of Géricault’s work; Jasmine Chohan; Karen B. Cohen; Arturo and Corinne Cuéllar; Salomon Cuéllar; Cristina Diaz; Nancy Druckman, Didier Aaron and Co.; Betty and Jean-Marie Eveillard; Thomas and Audrey French; Phillippe Grunchec, whose early studies of the artist were vitally important; Jennifer Jones; Jon and Barbara Landau; Claire Lebeau; Roberta Olson and Alexander Johnson; Bojana Popovic; Michael Rubenstein; Alan Salz; Marjorie Shelley; Dr. Margret Stuffmann; and Andrea Woodner.

— J. N.


1791 Théodore Géricault is born on September 26 , in Rouen, to the lawyer Georges- Nicolas Géricault and his wife Louise-Jeanne-Marie. c. 1796 The Géricault family moves to Paris. 1806–08 Théodore Géricault attends the Lycée Impérial in Paris. 1808–10 Géricault’s mother dies in 1808 , and he inherits her fortune. With the support of his uncle, Jean-Baptiste Caruel, and against his father’s wishes, Géricault studies informally with Carle Vernet. There he is given the freedom to explore the studio and draw what he observes. Many of Géricault’s earliest studies of horses and military subjects date from this time. 1810–11 Géricault enters the studio of the Neoclassical history painter, Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, and through him would later meet Eugène Delacroix. 1811–12 At the Musée Napoléon (now the Louvre) Géricault studies independently, especially the work of Rubens, Titian, Caravaggio and Rembrandt. Napoléon invades Russia in June 1812 and in September Géricault starts work on The Charging Chasseur , transforming a simple genre scene (a bolting carriage horse was the key inspiration) into a colossal equestrian portrait. In December, this work receives a gold medal at the Salon. Géricault paints several studies of Napoléonic cavalrymen. His art goes through gradual changes: the forms become more compact and the hues darker. 1813 The Wounded Cuirassier is painted early autumn as a pendant to the Charging Chasseur . While the former painting was animated by Napoléonic passion for military conquest, the latter conjured up the French defeats of 1813 - 14 and received negative reviews at the Salon held November-December. The early traces of Géricault’s ‘antique’ manner can be found in his sketches in the Zoubaloff Sketchbook (Louvre), which also contains studies for the Cuirassier . In April, the Bourbon monarchy is restored after the abdication of Napoléon. In July, Géricault enlists in the Gray Musketeers, a royal cavalry that was meant to be more ceremonial than military. Napoléon returns from exile in March. Géricault’s troop of musketeers accompanies Louis XVIII safely to the Belgian border as he flees to Ghent. In June, Napoléon is defeated at Waterloo. 1815 1814

Géricault experiments with new methods of painting and pursues an independent course of training. He focuses on classical themes and finds great inspiration in Michelangelo’s style. Géricault’s drawings of this period become more linear and controlled. The artist decides to submit a work for the academic Rome Prize competition and prepares by painting nude studies. In March, Géricault fails at the second stage of the Rome prize competition but decides to go to Italy on his own. The artist’s love affair with Alexandrine- Modeste Caruel, the young wife of his uncle, begins around this time, and may have been a factor in his decision to leave Paris for Italy. On September 8 , the shipwreck of the Medusa is brought to the public’s attention through the first press reports. By late September, Géricault leaves for Italy spending the next month in Florence. He leaves for Rome in November. At the Roman carnival in February, Géricault is impressed by the spectacle of the races of the Barberi horses and produces many drawings and compositional studies in oil on this theme, possibly envisioning a work he could submit to the 1817 Paris Salon. In March, Géricault travels to Naples to see Paestum and in June returns to Rome and the project of the Race . He ends his Italian sojourn abruptly in late September, traveling through Siena, Florence and Switzerland on his return trip to France, reaching Paris in November. He becomes increasingly interested in modern military subjects while also pursuing Italian-inspired works such as The Cattle Market . The artist begins his first experiments with lithography. The first edition of Corréard and Savigny’s account of Medusa’s shipwreck is published. Géricault creates a series of lithographs predominantly around the theme of the Napoléonic wars ( Retour de Russie ). He also renders contemporary subjects in Les Boxeurs and Le Factionnaire Suisse and uses recent events to create a politically- charged painting that could become the subject for a Salon work, The Murder of Fualdès . On February 24 , Géricault buys the large canvas that will become the base for The Raft of the Medusa . He spends the rest of the year developing the painting by exploring various scenes of the event including the Rescue , Mutiny , Cannibalism, and the Sighting of the Rescue Vessel . He decides on the Sighting and begins transferring this onto the canvas by autumn. In July and August, Géricault pauses work on the Raft to produce a series of painted landscapes: Landscape with Roman Tomb , Landscape with Aqueduct , and Landscape with Fishermen .




On August 21 , Alexandrine-Modeste Caruel is exiled to an estate near Versailles after giving birth to their son. The family tries to keep the scandal a secret and Géricault withdraws to his studio to work alone. Work on The Raft of the Medusa is completed. The painting is taken in June to the Théatre Italien where entries for the Salon are being prepared for display. On August 25 , The Salon opens at the Louvre and The Raft of the Medusa is the center of attention; however, the work receives mixed reviews, mostly because of its politically provocative topic. Géricault, disappointed by the reception, leaves for a holiday with friends at Féricy near Fontainebleau. He falls severely ill and shows signs of depression. On December 31 , the Raft wins a gold medal. The director of the Royal Museums, the Comte de Forbin, offers the artist a 6 , 000 franc commission to produce a religious painting. From June through December, The Raft of the Medusa is displayed at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly. Approximately 50 , 000 visitors attend, and Géricault earns 17 - 20 , 000 francs. Géricault makes several trips to Paris to buy painting supplies, and eventually goes to Brussels to visit the exiled Jacques-Louis David before returning to London. He comes to an arrangement with the printer Hullmandel and the firm Rodwell & Martin to publish a series of his lithographs. The Raft of the Medusa is displayed in Dublin in February and March. In May, Rodwell & Martin publish thirteen of Géricault’s lithographs under the title Various Subjects Drawn from Life on Stone . These include fashionable equestrian subjects, scenes of work ( Adelphi Wharf ), and the life of the poor ( Pity the Sorrows of a Poor Old Man ). Géricault is invited by the painter Thomas Lawrence, President of the Royal Academy, to a banquet in Lawrence’s honor. He becomes absorbed in the influence of English sporting and artistic traditions as well as landscape painting. Géricault attends the Epsom Downs Derby races in June in the company of Adam Elmore, the London horse dealer who was also his host. Due to financial losses resulting from bad investments, Géricault paints works specifically to sell and starts on four series of lithographs for the firms of Gihaut and Mme. Hulin. In the summer, Géricault’s illness returns after several riding accidents. He stays with his friend Dedreux-Dorcy. In spite of his bad health, Géricault’s productivity does not diminish as he works on paintings of horses, landscapes and Oriental subjects. Géricault leaves for England on April 10 . After a series of illnesses, he returns to France in December.





He paints ten Portraits of Insane Patients for Dr. Georget, a physician acquaintance.


Géricault focuses his attention on watercolors and lithographs, including illustrations of Byron’s works. In April and June, he revisits his English series, and with the help of Léon Joseph Volmar, he reworks some of his lithographs. In early 1823 , he suffers a serious recurrence of his illness – a tubercular infection of the spine. After several operations, his condition is still not improved. Aware of his bleak future, Géricault plans several vast compositions in a last effort. These include The Liberation of Prisoners of the Spanish Inquisition and The African Slave Trade . In November, his good friend Bro de Comères sells some of his recent works for 13 , 600 francs. The following month, he completes his will, naming his father as heir; his father, in turn, passes the property to Géricault’s illegitimate son, Georges-Hippolyte, aged five.


Géricault dies on January 26 .

On November 2 - 3 , Géricault’s studio contents are sold at public auction, bringing 52 , 000 francs. His close friend Dedreux-Dorcy buys The Raft of the Medusa and sells it to the Louvre on the November 12 , 1824 .

Bojana Popovic Jasmine Chohan

I n a career that barely spanned fifteen years, Théodore Géricault produced one of the most original bodies of art work of the nineteenth century. It is an oeuvre that continues to provoke interest and dispute, from basic issues of chronology, dating and attribution, to interpretations of the historical, political and aesthetic intentions that animate the artist’s work. For many years following his death in 1824 at the age of 32 , Géricault was a mythic, shadowy figure, an incomplete genius defined by one work, The Raft of the Medusa , and by a protracted illness and passionate temperament (he had a disastrous love affair with his uncle’s young wife, who bore his illegitimate son). By the 21 st century, after Lorenz Eitner’s and Philippe Grunchec’s important studies from the 1980 s, 1 a breathtaking retrospective in Paris in 1991 , 2 the publication of an extensive raisonné of the artist’s oeuvre, 3 a new, synthetic monograph, 4 and an enormous range of published material that brings new interpretive strategies to Géricault’s work, we have at least reached a consensus of sorts on the stature and breadth of the artist’s accomplishments in different media. There is further agreement that the artist was engaged in the changing world in which he lived. “Our” Géricault, as Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer put it, is “a man of his time,” responsive to the turbulent era that comprised the end of Napoléon’s regime and the early years of the contested Bourbon Restoration. In his challenges to various conventions that governed the genres of painting, Géricault is very much a “harbinger of the modern spirit,” as Henri Zerner has written. 5 Géricault was a great painter and accounts of his work have often taken shape around major projects of painting. The Charging Chasseur and Wounded Cuirassier , Salon paintings of 1812 and 1814 , belong to the final years of Napoléon’s empire in their yearning for military glory and blunt depiction of retreat and defeat. The unrealized Race of the Barberi Horses from the artist’s year in Italy ( 1816 – 1817 ) was to be a huge, multi-figured painting in the grand manner that depicted a popular spectacle in contemporary Rome. The colossal Raft of the Medusa of the 1819 Salon represented a contemporary, politically explosive story as both an heroic allegory and a gruesome report of ignoble realities; it remains the artist’s masterpiece. The Epsom Downs Derby , the most ambitious painting project of Géricault’s visits

A Stable Hand Grooming a Horse (detail, cat. 3 )

to London in 1820 and 1821 , captured one aspect of his English sojourn, his depictions of thoroughbreds and fashionable scenes of sport. The enigmatic series of ten ‘portraits’ of the insane of c. 1821 – 23 , five of which are known today, is the staggering, disturbing achievement of his later years. The enormous importance of drawing in Géricault’s oeuvre has been a part of the scholarly account for decades, even as his drawings—which comprise more than half the corpus of his work—remain largely unknown to general viewers. As independent works and as preparation for major paintings and lithographs, drawing was integral to Géricault’s habits of regular observation, study, and inventive variation. In the case of his large, multi-figural projects, The Race of the Barberi Horses and Raft of the Medusa , Géricault’s study drawings are indispensable to our understanding of the artist’s aesthetic commitments. While seeking to portray contemporary life in a vividly realistic mode, he was also devoted, during this period, to a classical ideal of representation in which the male body, effectively placed in a monumental composition, is the fulcrum of physical and allegorical energies. Other studies and finished drawings in various media, including pen and ink, wash, gouache, and watercolor, attest to Géricault’s immersion in military and Napoléonic subjects in his early career; his lifelong fascination with the physical anatomy and movement of horses; and his attraction to Oriental subjects, particularly scenes of mounted warriors. The great drawings and watercolors from the English sojourns of 1820 – 21 depict the contemporary life of London and focus especially on laborers, work horses and the poor with an unprecedented naturalism. We should not be surprised by the rich formal and thematic range of Géricault’s drawings. Viewed in its entirety, his practice was predicated not on a single career path, such as that of an academic painter or lithographic illustrator, but on the desire to synthesize art and reality as he explored the subjects, artistic formats, and media to which he was committed. In this regard, Géricault was an exemplary early Romantic artist and a precursor to modern art. Drawing offered Géricault far greater freedom for exploration and experiment than the more technically cumbersome and publically determined medium of painting. He was mostly self-taught, and drawing was essential to procedures of

learning and study from the very beginning. In late 1808 , the young Géricault studied informally with Carle Vernet, who specialized in equestrian themes and scenes of fashionable urban life. It was, of course, Géricault’s passion for horses and his prowess as a rider that drew him to Vernet, and he began his intense, lifelong study of equine anatomy and movement in drawings and oil sketches made from life during these early years. Around 1810 , his desire for a more structured framework of training led him to the studio of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a leading painter of historical and mythological narrative in the classical style. The drawing of a seated male nude, dated c. 1810 by Bazin (cat. 1 ), but possibly executed a few years later, appears to have been inspired by Guérin’s painting Return of Marcus Sextus , which had been a huge success at the 1799 Salon. Though Géricault did not remain in Guérin’s studio for long, he did not abandon direct study from the male nude—a key part of his training with Guérin—or the classical ideal. In the artist’s own words, his independent course of study was “to draw and paint after the great Old Masters,” and “to draw after the antique,” or examples of ancient Greek and Roman art in the Louvre (then renamed the Musée Napoléon, and enriched by great works acquired from recent military conquest). 6 Five drawings in this exhibition (cat. 4 – 8 ) provide evidence of the different formal languages that Géricault explored in drawingmedia as he sought to develop a grand manner that would serve him in painting large, multi-figured compositions during this period of independent exploration. The elegant, linear rhythms of Flaxman’s illustrations of The Illiad (cat. 4 ) offered one way of impartingmovement to a figural composition, while the powerfully muscular energies of Giulio Romano (cat. 5–6 ) offered another for capturing the strain and conflict of battle. The elaborately composed and rendered Death of Paris (cat. 8 ) is one of seven compositional studies that Géricault produced in 1816 on the mythological story of Paris and Oenone . In that year, the candidates for the French Academy’s Rome Prize were given the subject of Paris and Oenone for the third, definitive stage of the competition, the painted compositional study. Although Géricault had already been eliminated from the competition, he doggedly pursued the compositional assignment. The resulting pen and wash drawings represent different moments in the story, and

use different figural and compositional strategies to convey its classical theme— sculptural, dense, and relief-like in the exhibition’s example, spatially deep and extensive, with serpentine configurations and flowing movement in others. As a group, they prefigure the deeply exploratory, probing approach to narrative and configuration that would characterize Géricault’s studies for the Race of the Barberi Horses and the Raft of the Medusa . For Géricault, the multi-figured composition posed an overarching problem: to distill the dramatic power of a story into a single moment or scene, and to frame this moment in the authoritative format of history painting, with the physical and expressive power of classicism and the Old Masters. During his sojourn in Italy ( 1816 – 17 ), which he financed on his own, Géricault’s drawings included many subjects observed on the streets of Rome, rendered in a realistic or popular style of characterization (cat. 11 ) and, of course, his studies for the Race of the Barberi Horses . As both Wheelock Whitney and Eitner have noted, the artist’s studies for his large, narrative projects involved the constant repositioning and reworking figural motifs that often make their first appearance in the early stages of the process. A case in point is the rearing horse in the two studies for the Race (cat. 9 – 10 ), a central motif from the earliest studies. These particular examples highlight the artist’s regard for the powerful musculature of the horse’s flank and the superb line of its profile. Géricault’s perpetual recasting of figural motifs over the course of a composition’s evolution reaches its apogee in the drawings for the Raft of the Medusa . The sheet of studies after Rubens’ Fall of the Damned of 1818 (cat. 12 ) belongs, as Eitner noted, to the early gestation of the Raft . 7 In addition, particular figures on the study sheet, most notably the reclining figure who resembles a river god, tormented by a serpent between his legs, and the figure who falls head first, elbows bent, thick hair flopping forward, were early sources for motifs that Géricault continued to rethink and transform as he explored different episodes of the Medusa story. The study sheet’s anguished river god evolves into the drastically foregrounded, central figure of the Mutiny episode—the one who lies on his back and struggles with a rope between his legs—and, finally, into the

startlingly indecorous corpse, headless and half-naked, in the right foreground of the painting. These transformations point not only to Géricault’s facility with different formal languages for representing the male body, but also to his strategic manipulation and unexpected mixing of these languages—real and ideal—to achieve maximum narrative and dramatic impact. The aforementioned figure who falls with one hand on his head is surely an early source for the dark-haired corpse in the final composition who lies on his stomach, one arm stretched over a piece of wood. Géricault posed the young Eugène Delacroix as the model for this corpse; more precisely, he had Delacroix assume positions that were initially inspired by the falling figure after Rubens. Delacroix’s freely rendered study sheet after Géricault’s study of Rubens (fig. 14–15 ) poignantly continues the dialogue between artist and master and model. Among Géricault’s greatest contributions to both watercolor and lithography were his explorations of contemporary, working London, in which he extended his obsession with horses to include the working horses of London’s busy streets, wharves, stables, and outlying fields. The exhibition’s watercolor study of a coal wagon, two sturdy drays and a coal heaver (cat. 14 ), and the graphite study of a field worker leading a horse-drawn straw cart (cat. 16 ), exemplify the stark naturalism of Géricault’s depictions of working London. Other watercolors and drawings from this period (cat. 15 , 17 , 23 ) depict their subjects with a cooly detached, observant mode of address and stately air. As Suzanne Lodge characterized Géricault’s achievements of the English period, he had developed a mode of naturalist expression that was deeply moving, but without the investment in monumentality that he had previously equated with expressive power. “Monumentality,” Lodge wrote, “can exist without inherent heroism or pathos,” an observation that applies to many of the small paintings from the last years in which Géricault was still able to work ( 1822 – 23 ). 8 These include the naturalistic, if tragic industrial landscape of the Lime Kiln (Musée du Louvre), and the exhibition’s Abandoned Cart (cat. 25 ). Probably a study for the Lime Kiln , the impressively stoic Abandoned Cart shares the larger painting’s clear, hard light, austere palette, and quietly monumental gravitas.

For much of his career, Géricault conceived and executed drawings for his own purposes; he enjoyed a private income, and was not urgently pressed to sell his work. From the English period onward, however, the artist increasingly had markets and sales in mind. The initial impetus of his English journey was to profit from a paying exhibition of the Raft of the Medusa , and he would later capitalize on the French fascination with English motifs and English-styled naturalism in two series of lithographs and a number of small paintings. His finished watercolors of English subjects, particularly the brilliant studies of race horses, were certainly marketable and are related (like his studies of working-class London) to his very successful suites of lithographs of 1821 and 1823 . At Géricault’s posthumous studio sale, the numerous, though summarily identified lots of drawings included thirty-three sketchbooks (now mostly dismembered), along with many drawings and watercolors of his favorite subjects. As Grunchec has related, the drawings of the Géricault sale quickly found their way into the major, private drawings collections of this era and, much later, into public collections. 9 It is fitting that this presentation of Géricault’s wide-ranging drawing practices should be assembled from private collections that share an appreciation for these perennially stimulating works. Sylvain Lavessière, Regis Michel, et. al. Géricault , exh. cat., Paris, Grand Palais, 1991 ; see also Régis Michel (ed.) Géricault , 2 vols, Paris, 1996 , and Géricault: Dessins et estampes des collections de l’École des Beaux-Arts: points de vue contemporains, exh. cat., École nationale supérieure des Beaux- Arts, Paris, 1997 . 3 Germain Bazin, Théodore Géricault. Étude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné , vols 1 – 8 , Paris, 1987 – 1997 4 Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Géricault , London and New York, 2010 5 Henri Zerner, “Mysteries of a Modern Painter,” New York Review of Books , March 5 , 1992 , 6 Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, 2010 , p. 20 . 7 Lorenz Eitner, “Dessins de Géricault d’après Rubens: la genèse du Radeau de la Méduse,” Revue de l’art , no. 14 , 1971 . 8 Suzanne Lodge, “Géricault in England,” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 107 , no. 75 (Dec. 1965 ), p. 626 . 9 Philippe Grunchec, 1985 , introduction. AMY KURLANDER 1 Lorenz Eitner, Géricault. His Life and Work , London, 1963 , and Philippe Grunchec, Géricault’s Horses, Drawings and Watercolors , New York, 1984 and Grunchec, Master Drawings by Géricault , exh. cat., 1985 2


1 . Seated Male Nude

Black chalk, pen and brown ink on paper 6 ⅜ x 4 ¼ inches ( 16 . 3 x 11 cm) Collection stamp lower center: Lugt 464 (Collection Coutan-Hauguet) Inscribed on recto: ‘ in mar./consi ever/no ti ’ (?) Numbered lower left: 30 Inscribed on verso: portions of a numbered list (illeg.)

provenance L.J.A. Coutan; sale, Coutan-Hauguet Collection, Hôtel Drouot, December 16 – 17 , 1889 ; sale, Paris, November 21 , 2000 , lot 11 .

l i terature Bazin, VII, no. 2690 .

Thomas French Fine Art

Dated c. 1810 by Bazin, this vigorously handled drawing of a muscular, bearded nude, seated on a bed in an ancient Roman interior, seems to have been inspired by The Return of Marcus Sextus , a famous painting by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin of the 1799 Salon (Musée du Louvre). From 1810 to 1812 , Géricault studied regularly in the studio of Guérin, a Neoclassical painter of historical and mythological subjects. After around 1812 he studied increasingly on his own. The sculptural character and heroic proportions of the dynamically posed figure in this drawing may point to a somewhat later date, perhaps around the time of his painted Académies, to which scholars have assigned dates ranging

from c. 1812 (Grunchec) to c. 1816 (Eitner). The drawing was part of the Coutan collection, one of the great private collections of Romantic art acquired during the Restoration. In 1889 , after inviting the Louvre to choose works for the museum, Coutan’s descendants sold the remains of the collection at auction. (AK)


2 . Study of Riders (Verso: Three Studies of Polish Lancers)

c. 1813–14 Brown ink and grey wash over pencil on paper Verso: pencil 8 ¼ × 11 ¼ inches ( 21 . 0 × 28 . 5 cm) Collection stamp lower left on verso: Lugt 1124 b (Collection Maurice Gobin) provenance Former Collection Luc-Albert Moreau; Maurice Gobin; sale, Piasa, Paris, March 31 , 2000 , no. 115 . exhi b i t ions Paris, Galerie Maurice Gobin, Exposition de dessins, aquarelles & gouaches par Géricault, 1791–1824 , 1935 , no. 11 ; Bernheim-Jeune 1937 , no. 89 ; Paris, Géricault , 1950 , no. 15 (according to Gobin); Winterthur 1953 , nos. 955 and 958 ; Paris, Galerie Claude Aubry, Géricault dans les collections privées françaises: exposition organisée au bénéfice de la Société des amis du Louvre , November 6 –December 7 , 1964 , no. 55 (illus.). l i terature Maurice Gobin, Géricault (1791–1824): dans la collection d’un amateur , Paris: Éditions des Quatre Chemins-Éditart, 1958 (?), no. 7 – 8 (illus.); Bazin, vol. III, nos. 955 and 958 . The study of three lancers on the verso of this double-sided sheet documents a key moment in Géricault’s early oeuvre. During the final years of the Empire, Géricault was immersed in contemporary military subjects and was particularly interested in the equestrian portrait, the theme of his first two Salon paintings, The Charging Chasseur ( 1812 ) and The Wounded Cuirassier ( 1814 ). Like so many Frenchmen and young artists, Géricault was enthralled by Napoléonic military spectacle, including the splendid uniforms of the regiments of hussars, cuirassiers, and lancers who came through Paris as they returned from battle or drilled in preparation for new ones. The mounted figures of the drawing’s verso wear the distinctive uniform of a trumpeter in a regiment of the Polish Light-Cavalry lancers, and the artist has paid special attention to the distinctive, four-cornered czapka and high-waisted, high-collared kurtka . The drawing is a study for the painting, Mounted Trumpeters of the Napoléon’s Imperial Guard of 1813 – 14 (fig. 1 ); other graphite studies for the painting are in the album of drawings in the Art Institute of Chicago. The recto is a lively drawing that captures two smartly outfitted sportsmen as they calmly put their horses through Art Cuéllar-Nathan

the paces. Another instance of Géricault’s taste for sartorial elegance, this sheet is also a reminder of his prowess as a rider, his careful study of equine anatomy and movement, and of the fashionable milieux in which he frequently mingled. (AK)

Fig. 1 Mounted Trumpeters of the Napoléon’s Imperial Guard , 1813 – 14 , National Gallery of Art, Washington DC ( 1972 . 25 . 1 )


3 . A Stable Hand Grooming a Horse

c. 1814 Pencil, light brown wash on paper 11 ⅜ x 8 ⅝ inches ( 29 . 1 x 22 . 1 cm) Collection stamp lower right: Lugt 2103 b (Collection Pierre Olivier Dubaut) provenance Binder Collection, Paris; Richard Goetz; Pierre Olivier Dubaut; Jacqueline Dubaut, from whom purchased in 1973 by the father of the previous owner; sale, Christie’s London, July 5 , 2011 , lot 101 . exhi b i t ions Paris, Hôtel Charpentier, Centenaire de Géricault, 1924 , no. 220 ; Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts, Géricault, 1924 , no. 11 . l i terature Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Dürer to Delacroix, Master Drawings from Stockholm , October 27 , 1985 –January 5 , 1986 , (Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, February 1 –April 13 , 1986 , The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, May 10 –July 20 , 1986 ), p. 147 , no. 67 ; Bazin, under no. 2595 ; Paris 1991 , p. 394 , under no. 250 ; Per Bjurström, Drawings in Swedish Public Collections: French Drawings: Nineteenth Century , Stockholm, 1986 , no. 1565 . This composition is known in three versions, all in graphite and wash. One example, in the Art Institute of Chicago (fig. 2 ), is part of an album of sketches from 1813 – 14 and the other, in the Swedish National Museum, Stockholm (fig. 3 ), is nearly identical to the work in Chicago, though somewhat smaller and more square in format. In his correspondence of October 2004 , Eitner states that the present drawing, the largest of the three, is Géricault’s copy of the drawing in the Chicago album. In all three works, the pencil work and wash animate a compelling exchange between man and animal, whose gazes meet as the stable hand attends to the horse’s daily care. According to the authors of the 1991 catalogue of the Géricault retrospective in Paris, the painter Alfred de Dreux (a follower of Géricault and nephew of a close friend), adapted this composition as part of a series of equestrian lithographs. The lithograph was executed by Emile Lassalle, printed by Lemercier, and published by Goupil in 1858 with the title Après la promenade (Paris 1991 , p. 394 , under no. 250 ). (AK) Collection of Michael A. Rubenstein

figures overleaf

Fig. 2 Stableboy Grooming a Horse , 1814 , Art Institute of Chicago ( 1947 . 35 . 27 )

Fig. 3 A Stable Hand Grooming a Horse , 1814 , Swedish National Museum, Stockholm (NMH 216 / 1982 )

4 . Two Ladies Leaning on a Wall (Verso: Landscape with Houses, probably a View of Montmartre) c. 1814–15 Black chalk, brown and white gouache on paper Verso: pencil 7 ⅝ x 5 ⅞ inches ( 19 . 5 x 15 cm) Collection stamp lower right: Lugt 1124 a (Collection Maurice Gobin)

provenance Destouches Collection; Maurice Gobin.

exhi b i t ions New York, Marie Sterner Galleries, First Exhibition in America of Géricault , 1936 , no. 37 ; Bernheim-Jeune 1937 , no. 107 .

Didier-Aaron, Inc.

Correspondence from Eitner, dated January 2000 , identifies this drawing as work by Géricault of c. 1815 , and relates it to a group of drawings of the same period that are based on compositions by John Flaxman. Flaxman, through George Romney, had been greatly influenced by Henry Fuseli in Rome in the 1770 s. It is this mixture of influences which gives this drawing its very distinctive character. Géricault’s drawing is specifically based on a 1793 illustration by Flaxman for plate 7 of his Iliad, Venus in Disguise, Luring Helen into Paris’ Room (fig. 4 ) , focusing on the group of three ladies’ maids on the right hand side of the composition. Géricault was inspired to do several repetitions of Flaxman’s composition, one of which is in the Zoubaloff sketchbook (Musée du Louvre), the only surviving complete sketchbook by Géricault.

Fig. 4 John Flaxman (British, 1755 – 1826 ) Venus in Disguise, Luring Helen into Paris’ Room plate 7 of Iliad , published 1793

5 . Fallen Warrior: Study after “The Battle of Constantine” by Giulio Romano

c. 1815 – 1816 Pencil and brown ink on paper 7 ¼ x 4 ⅞ inches ( i8 . 3 x 12 . 3 cm)

provenance Private Collection, Paris; Jill Newhouse ( 1988 ).

l i terature Eitner, no. 126 .

Private Collection

In correspondence of June 1988 , Eitner identified this work and cat. 6 as studies by Géricault from an engraving after Giulio Romano’s The Battle of Constantine again st Maxentius , an enormous fresco in the Vatican. (The fresco was designed by Raphael; Giulio directed and completed the fresco’s execution after Raphael’s cartoon, fig. 5 ). Eitner dated the drawings c. 1815 – 16 , after Géricault’s studies with Carle Vernet and Pierre-Narcisse Gúerin and before his trip to Italy. During this period, the artist immersed himself in a wide-ranging, independent course of study at the Louvre, producing many paintings and drawings after the antique, and Baroque and Renaissance art. He also made a number of drawings after reproductive engravings, adopting a linear style that responds to the engravings’ graphic language. This study of the strained, reaching limbs of a fallen warrior is indicative of Géricault’s persistent interest in the expressive power of active, muscular bodies depicted in battle. In the drawing reproduced as cat. 6 , the battling figures emerge as dynamic, energetic bodies; the sense of movement inspired by Giulio’s fresco. According to Eitner, other drawings after an engraving of The Battle of Constantine may be found in the Zoubaloff sketchbook in the Louvre. Grunchec and Whitney maintain that Géricault’s oil sketch after The Battle of Constaintine (private collection) was made from the fresco itself in Rome c. 1817 , while Eitner believed that the painting was made from the engraving as well (Whitney, p. 40 ). (AK)

Fig. 5 Giulio Romano (Italian, 1499 – 1546 ), The Battle of Constantine again st Maxentius , 1517 – 1524 , Vatican Museum

6 . Struggling Warriors: Study after “The Battle of Constantine” by Giulio Romano

c. 1813 – 1815 Pencil with pen and ink on paper 6 ¾ × 5 ¼ inches ( 17 . 1 × 13 . 3 cm)

provenance Alfred Normand, Paris; Galerie Bayser, Paris; Andre Salomon, Paris; Estate of Andre Salomon, Paris; Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, New York ( 1986 ). exhi b i t ions New York, Salander O’Reilly Galleries, Théodore Géricault (1791–1824): an exhibition: paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints and sculpture , 1987 , no. 28 (illus.).

l i terature Eitner, no. 126 ; Bazin, vol. II, no. 263 .

Private Collection

7 . Study for “ The Oath of Brutus after the Death of Lucretia”

c. 1815 Pencil on pale green paper 3 ⅞ x 5 ⅜ inches ( 10 x 13.5 cm)

Richard L. Feigen & Co.

This drawing was recently discovered in an album assembled in France in 1842 by an unidentified man for his daughter, Blanche. The album contained drawings, watercolors, poems, letters, and musical notations. Correspondence from Lorenz Eitner, dated January 24 , 2000 , dates it c. 1815 , the same period as the drawings in the Zoubaloff sketchbook. He locates these drawings at a turning point in Géricault’s artistic development, when his attention shifted from the modern military subjects of 1812 – 14 , in an effort to formulate an “antique manner,” a style for depicting classical themes or heroic narrative subjects. This drawing is a preliminary study for a rare, early oil sketch titled The Oath of Brutus after the Death of Lucretia , c. 1815 , now in the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (fig. 6 ). Another drawing from the same album is also known (art market, current location unknown) and depicts a different scene from the life of Junius Brutus, Brutus Condemning his Sons to Death . Though fairly summary, the two pencil drawings may document a major project involving thematically connected paintings, perhaps of large format. Although no other studies for Brutus Condemning his Sons are known, the oil sketch in Kansas City proves that Géricault developed at least part of this project beyond the stage of the pencil sketch.

Fig. 6 The Oath of Brutus after the Death of Lucretia , c. 1815 – 1816 , The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art ( 92 . 35 )

8 . The Death of Paris (Verso: Christ on the Cross)

1816 Pencil, pen and brown ink with brown wash on paper 5 ¼ x 8 ½ inches ( 13 . 5 x 21 . 5 cm) Collection stamp lower right: Lugt 2103 b (Collection Pierre Olivier Dubaut)

provenance Brame, Saint-Rémy, by 1879 ; Pierre Olivier Dubaut, Paris; Hans E. Bühler, Winterthur; Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox Ltd., by 1986 ; Helmut F. Stern, Michigan; Private collection. exhi b i t ions Paris, Hôtel Charpentier, Exposition Géricault , April–May 1924 , no. 76 ; New York, Marie Sterner Galleries, Fir st Exhibition in America of Géricault , 1936 , no. 25 ; Bernheim-Jeune 1937 , no. 86 ; Bignou 1950 , no. 2 ; Winterthur 1953 , no. 119 ; Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Gros, Géricault, Delacroix , 1954 , no. 34 . l i terature Clément 1879 ( 1974 ), no. 92 bis; Léon Rosenthal, “À propos d’un cinquantenaire et d’une exposition: la place de Géricault dans la peinture française,” Revue de l’art ancien et moderne , June 1924 , p. 53 ; Lorenz Eitner, “Two Re-discovered Landscapes by Géricault and the Chronology of his Early Work,” Art Bulletin , June 1954 , p. 136 , no. 25 ; Bühler 1956 , no. 44 ; Lorenz Eitner, “Géricault’s ‘Dying Paris’ and the Meaning of his Romantic Classicism,” Master Drawings , Spring 1963 , p. 26 (illus.); Eitner, “Reversals of Direction in Géricault’s Compositional Projects” in Stil und Uberlieferung in der Kun st des Abendlandes , III, Berlin 1967 , p. 129 (illus.); Lorenz Eitner, no. 89 ; Grunchec 1985 , p. 59 (illus.).

Thomas French Fine Art

In 1816 , Oenone and Paris was the assigned subject for the third, decisive stage of the Grand Prix de Rome competition at the École des Beaux Arts. Géricault had entered the competition

that year, but was eliminated after the second stage. Though no longer a candidate for the Rome Prize, he pursued the subject in a series of drawings that emphasized different aspects of the story. This work represents the dying Paris who has been pleading with his first wife, the nymph Oenone (not present in this image), to use her powers to heal the deadly wounds he incurred in combat during the fall of Troy. The drawing was identified by Clément and subsequent writers as The Death of Hector , until Eitner ( 1963 ) properly identified it as a depiction of Oenone and Paris . In addition to the present work, Eitner identified six other compositional studies in ink and wash that focused on different moments of the tragic encounter.


9 . Study for “The Race of the Barberi Horses”

1817 Black chalk on paper 7 ⅞ x 10 inches ( 20 x 25 . 5 cm) Collection stamp lower left: Lugt 2103 b (Collection Pierre Olivier Dubaut)

provenance Baron Joseph Vitta; sale, Paris, May 27, 1927 , no. 118 ; Pierre Olivier Dubaut, Paris; Thence by descent. exhi b i t ions Paris, Pavillon Marsan, Les artistes français en Italie de Poussin à Renoir , 1934 , no. 500 ; Bernheim-Jeune 1937 , no. 113 ; Bignou 1950 , no. 32 ; London, Marlborough Fine Art, Théodore Géricault 1791–1824 , October–November, 1952 , no. 47 ; Winterthur 1953 , no. 161 ; Paris, Galerie Berheim Jeune, Gros, Géricault, Delacroix , 1954 , no. 51 ; Paris, Galerie Aubry, Géricault dans les collections privées françaises , November–December, 1964 , no. 66 ; Grunchec 1985 , no. 31 .

l i terature Grunchec 1982 , p. 50 (illus.); Whitney, p. 131 – 32 (illus.); Bazin, vol. IV, no. 1351

Art Cuéllar-Nathan

During his year in Italy ( 1816 – 1817 ), Géricault made enormous progress in draftsmanship and composition. He studied and copied antique sculpture and master works of the Italian Baroque and Renaissance periods, but was also fascinated by the street life and customs of contemporary Rome. The project he envisaged as his Italian magnum opus was an enormous painting that he never completed. It was to represent the celebrated corso de’ Barberi: a series of races of riderless horses down the Via del Corso, an immensely popular event which served as the dramatic focus of the eight days of Carnival preceding Lent. As Wheelock Whitney noted in his meticulous study of the project’s evolution through numerous drawings and oil studies, Géricault would have known about this famous Roman tourist attraction before his departure for Italy, and he surely anticipated the races with great excitement. The spectacle of racing, riderless, Arabian thoroughbreds (named for their origin on the Barbary coast) appealed to his lifelong passion for magnificent horses and to his obsession with subjects that involved violent energies and opposing bodies. Géricault’s typically far-flung visual sources for the project included contemporary popular prints made for tourists and seventeenth- century engravings and sculpture. His studies document his changing strategies for seizing a particular moment of the race—he ultimately settled on the start, la mossa —and the different artistic languages (classical and contemporary) that he used to render and pose individual figures and groups, and to bring them together in a compositional ensemble. As a whole, these studies are a monument to Géricault’s unrealized ambition to capture contemporary life on a grand scale, in the heroic framework of multi-figured painting.

The present sheet belongs to a relatively advanced stage of Géricault’s development of the Race . He had begun with studies drawn from life as the events took place in mid-February, and made oil studies and many more drawings in the studio in the following months. As Whitney noted, Géricault’s earliest studies, such as an oil now in the Walters Gallery (fig. 7 ), depict the start of the race from an elevated viewpoint, with the action directed from right to left, as it would have appeared to a spectator observing the event from the Pincio side of the Corso. Later studies position the action more closely to the viewer and roughly on the same level, with the figures shown more in profile than obliquely, advancing across the image field as if in a classical frieze. In the final stage of the project, as seen here and in the famous oil study in the Louvre which represents the final idea for the composition (fig. 8 ), Géricault redirected the action of the start of the race from left to right. In the present work and the Louvre painting, the rearing horse is shown with his forelegs poised just over the starting line. The configuration of the horse and groom in this drawing was partly inspired by a seventeenth-century sculpture of a horse under a groom’s restraint, one of the two sculptures of Horse Tamers (also called the Marly Horses ) by Guillaume Coustou, which were displayed in the Tuileries gardens in Paris during Géricault’s lifetime (fig. 9 ). Among the several studies that investigate this particular configuration of horse and groom, this sheet is unique in its positioning of the man behind the horse, which allows the artist to emphasize the powerful silhouette and musculature of the horse’s flank. As Whitney describes the drawing, the groom’s contemporary Roman dress and the knotted tail of the horse reveal that at this moment, Géricault was still committed to depicting the races as a modern event. Many other studies from this phase depict the grooms nude, in keeping with academic study practice, while the temporal setting of the ‘final’ Louvre painting is unspecific, with a generalized classical atmosphere. (AK)

Fig. 7 Study for The Race of the Riderless Horses , Walters Art Gallery ( 37 . 189 )

Fig. 8 Study for The Race of the Riderless Horses , Musée du Louvre (RF 2042 )

Fig. 9 Guillaume Coustou (French, 1677 – 1746 ), Marly Horse , 1740 – 1745 , Musée du Louvre (RF 1802 )

10 . Rearing Horse: Study for “The Race of the Barberi Horses”

c. 1817 Black chalk with touches of white gouache on paper 4 × 5 ¼ inches ( 10 . 2 × 13 . 4 cm)

provenance Jill Newhouse Gallery ( 2001 ).

Collection of Roberta J.M. Olson and Alexander B.V. Johnson

This drawing of a rearing horse in profile probably dates from a late moment in Géricault’s conception of The Race of the Barberi Horses , when he had settled on depicting the start of the race and directed the action of the composition from left to right. Like the Study for “The Race of the Barberi Horses” (cat. 9 ), this drawing features the rampant horse at the starting line. In the final oil study now in the Louvre, the horse is positioned at the far right of the composition, with his rear flank highlighted in brilliant white. As Eitner noted in correspondence dated July 2000 , the present work may be among Géricault’s calques for the Race , tracings of figures that the artist drew from earlier studies, and would sometimes rework. Executed on brown paper with black chalk and heightened with white gouache, a technique that Géricault perfected during his year in Italy, it has the stately, elegiac air of many of Géricault’s independent drawings from this period. (AK)

11 . Scene from Italian Street Life

c. 1816–17 Pencil over red chalk on paper 6 ⅜ x 8 ¼ inches ( 16 x 21 cm) Collection stamp lower right: Lugt 2103 b (Collection Pierre Olivier Dubaut) provenance Valferdin Collection, Paris; Pierre Olivier Dubaut, Paris; thence by descent; Jill Newhouse ( 1989 ). exhi b i t ions Paris, Hôtel Charpentier, Exposition Géricault-Centenaire , April–May 1924 , no. 169 , exh. cat. by the Duc de Trévise and Pierre Olivier Dubaut; Bernheim-Jeune 1937 , no. 160 ; London, Marlborough Gallery , Théodore Géricault 1791–1824, October–November 1952 , no. 61 ; Paris, Galerie Claude Aubry, Géricault dans les collections privées françaises , November–December, 1964 , no. 86 ; Frankfurt, Schirn Kunsthalle, Géricault—Images of Life and Death , October 18 , 2013 –January 26 , 2014 (Museum voor Schonen Kunsten, Ghent, February 21 –May 25 , 2014 ), no. 2 .

l i terature Clément 1974 , no. 170 (as Scene from Macbeth ); Whitney, p. 48 (illus.).

Collection Andrea Woodner

This dramatic composition was misidentified by Géricault’s biographer, Charles Clément, as a subject from Macbeth and dated to the late period 1820 – 24 . As Eitner pointed out, and Whitney confirms, the drawing belongs to the observations of Italian street life that Géricault recorded in sketchbooks during his stays in Rome and Naples in 1816 – 17 . A woman with a grotesque face is being teased by a boy and a girl. She curses them, and the girl, in response, makes the traditional gesture of the defense against the Evil Eye (malocchio) by extending two fingers in her direction. Correspondence from Eitner, dated July 10 , 1989 , notes that while the use of red chalk is unusual in drawings of this period, the style and subject support a date of c. 1817 .

12 . Studies after Rubens’s “Fall of the Damned”

1818 Graphite on paper 8 ⅛ × 11 ¼ inches ( 20 . 5 × 28 . 5 cm)

Inscribed upper left: Extrait d’un calepin de Géricault, donné à Forster par Devéria, 1825 [Extracted from a small sketchbook by Géricault, given to Forster by Devéria, 1825 ] Collection stamp lower right: Lugt 2103 a (Collection Pierre Olivier Dubaut) provenance [Achille or Eugène] Deveria, by 1825 ; gift from Deveria to [probably François] Forster (per inscription); Pierre Olivier Dubaut, Paris; sale, Sotheby’s London, November 25 , 1987 . l i terature Lorenz Eitner, “Dessins de Géricault d’après Rubens: la genèse du Radeau de la Méduse,” Revue de l’art , no. 14 , 1971 , fig. 6 , p. 53 ; Lorenz Eitner, Géricault , exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, et al., 1971 , p. 124 (illus.); Rhode Island School of Design, Rubenism, exh. cat., Providence, 1975 , p. 235 , 237 , 238 ; Grunchec 1985 , under no. 74 ; Metropolitan Museum of Art 2000 , fig. 21 under no. 29 ; Bazin, vol. VI, no. 1942 .

Private Collection

This work is one of two known drawings that Géricault made after Rubens’s Fall of the Damned (sometimes called The Little La st Judgement) . Géricault would not have had access to the painting, and as Eitner noted ( 1971 ), the drawings are freehand copies of figure groups in an engraving by Jonas Suyderhoef after Rubens’s painting (fig. 10 ). The Stanford sheet (fig.

Fig. 10 Jonas Suyderhoef (Dutch, 1613 – 1686 ), Fall of the Damned, or Fall of the Rebel Angels , engraving after Peter Paul Rubens, 1642 Fig. 11 The Fall of the Rebel Angels , c. 1818 , Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University ( 1967 . 50 )

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