Lot 168
  • 168

Théodore Géricault

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
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  • Théodore Géricault
  • Paysan romain tenant un enfant dans ses bras
  • watercolour over black chalk heightened with white on brown paper
  • 27.5 by 19.6cm., 11⅞ by 7¾in.


Probably, sale: Vente du cabinet de M***, 16 rue des Jeûneurs, Paris, 11th-12th March 1846, lot 95 (described: Paysan romain, enveloppé d'un manteau et tenant un jeune enfant entre ses bras. Dessin rehaussé de tons colorés sur papier teinté, du plus beau caractère)
Aimé-Charles-Horace His de la Salle, Paris (1795-1878) (acquired by 1867, according to Clément; with his collector's mark lower right, Lugt 1333)
Possibly, Philippe Huart, Paris (with a PH collector's stamp on the mount, possibly Lugt 2083)
John Postle Heseltine, London (with his collector's mark on the reverse, Lugt 1508)
Maurice Gobin, Paris (with his collector's mark on the reverse and on the mount, Lugt 1124b)
Private Collection, Paris
Sale: Etude PIASA, Paris, 31st March 2000, lot 120
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner


Rome, Académie de France, Villa Médicis, Géricault, 1979-80, no. 42, illustrated in the catalogue
Paris, Grand Palais, Géricault, 1991-92, no. 100, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, La Passion du Dessin. Collection Jan et Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2002, no. 92, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Das Ewige Auge - Von Rembrandt bis Picasso. Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2007, no. 86, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Charles Clement, 'Catalogue de l'œuvre de Géricault', in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, October 1867, vol. XXIII, pp. 351-372, no. 96
Charles Clement, Géricault, Etude biographique et critique avec le Catalogue Raisonné de l'œuvre du Maître, Paris, 1868 & 1879; Paris & New York, 1974, no. 77
Georges Oprescu, Géricault, Paris, 1927, mentioned p. 82
Maurice Gobin, Géricault (1791-1824) dans la Collection d'un Amateur, Paris, 1958, illustrated no. 15
V.N. Prokofiev, Théodore Géricault, 1791-1824, Moscow, 1963, illustrated p. 100
Joanna Szczepinska-Tramer, 'Recherches sur les paysages de Géricault', in Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art français, 1973, pp. 299-317; p.303
Lorenz Eitner, Géricault: His Life and Work, London, 1983, discussed pp. 114 & 115, catalogued p. 336, n. 56, illustrated p. 113, fig. 101
Philippe Grunchec, Master Drawings by Géricault, exh. cat., Washington DC, 1985, illustrated p. 87, fig. 35a 
Germain Bazin, Théodore Géricault, Etude critique, documents et catalogue raisonné, vol. IV, Paris, 1990, discussed p. 19, catalogued and illustrated p. 131, no. 1185
Lorenz Eitner, Géricault. Sa vie, son œuvre, Paris, 1991, p. 143, n. 56; p. 422


This work is in good condition. Executed on wove paper. The sheet is not laid down but is attached to the blue mount in the upper left and right corners. There are two very minor tears in the left third of the extreme lower edge, and a small circa 1 by 1.5cm drop mark below the man's feet. The sheet is slightly undulating across its width and there are a couple of tiny spots of foxing. Presented in a decorative gilt frame, with the edges of the sheet visible and not covered by the mount, under glass.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

After turning his back on contemporary subject matter in his previous two years in Paris, Gericault returned to the theme on his arrival in Rome. Lorenz Eitner comments on Gericault's re-awakened interest in recording Roman street scenes as follows: 'Impressed equally by the drama of Italian life and the grandeur of Italian art, he conceived the idea of treating observations of contemporary life, gathered in the streets of Rome, in a monumental style reminiscent of Michelangelo and Raphael. The plan was bold in its disregard of the academic rules of propriety, according to which the grand style demanded a noble theme.' (Eitner, 1983, p. 113)

Expounding on the merits of the style, and the present work in particular, Eitner continues: '...the most impressive of his Italian drawings are the portrait studies in chalk and watercolours of Italian Peasants (Ecole des Beaux-Arts and M. Gobin collection Paris; private collection, Winterthur) [the present work], somberly cloaked and hatted figures, set down with blunt realism, unmarred by genre condescension or stylistic artifice.' (Eitner, 1983, pp. 114-115)