Lot 17
  • 17

Jean Richard Goubie

35,000 - 45,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Jean Richard Goubie
  • Le cirque Molier
  • one signed R. Goubie and inscribed offert au célèbre / Molier par son / humble admirateur (lower left)
  • set of 7, each oil on canvas


M. Molier, Paris (gifted from the artist)
M. Lopez Windshaw, Paris
Private Collection (by descent from the above, his uncle)
Antoine Cheneviere, London
Private Collection, Virginia (1986)
Guarisco Gallery, Washington D.C. (2011)
Private Collection, Georgia

Catalogue Note

The circus reached the height of its popularity in the late nineteenth century, but it has been a favorite subject for artists since the Renaissance, all drawn to its color, exoticism, and dynamism, as well as the compelling psychological, socio-economic, and theatrical tensions it aroused.  One of the most renowned circuses of the late nineteenth century was the Cirque Molier, an amateur circus that was famously portrayed in James Tissot’s Women of Paris: The Circus Lover (1885, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, fig. 1).  The Cirque Molier was founded by the skilled equestrian and horse trainer Ernest Molier, who built a circus ring at his home on the Rue de Benouville, right outside the gates of the Bois de Boulogne, where he welcomed aristocratic amateur entertainers, such as Count Hubert de la Rochefoucault and Baronne von Walkberg, to perform for other members of the Parisian “high society.”  Invitations to the Cirque Molier were highly coveted, and the list would have certainly included the wealthy patrons of artists such as Richard Goubie. The present group of seven paintings, which the artist gifted to Ernest Molier himself and may have been studies for a larger painting or poster illustrations or else decorations intended for the big top, would have been just as enthusiastically received by Belle Époque audiences as they are today.