Lot 53
  • 53

Alexandre Brun

30,000 - 40,000 USD
31,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Alexandre Brun
  • Le mousse
  • signed A. Brun (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Château d’Andrezel (circa 1980)
Private Collection, France 
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Paris, Salon, 1884, no. 384
Paris, Exposition Universelle, 1889, group VI, section 65 (“Navigation and Rescue”)


Théodore Véron, Dictionnaire Véron, Salon de 1884, Paris, 1884, p. 66-7
Le Petit Journal, August 15, 1891

Catalogue Note

Alexandre Jean-Baptiste Brun, a student of Alexandre Cabanel and Carolus-Duran, is celebrated for his expertly rendered marine paintings, encyclopedic ship illustrations, and large state commissions. Completed during a period of increased popularity for the French Navy, Le mousse, a term used for a "ship boy," is a charming portrayal of a young barefoot sailor wearing an adult’s uniform, a popular custom at the time, which suggests his future life at sea. As a contemporary writer notes, “newspapers are full of illustrations of admirals and we wanted to see the little mousse. M. Brun has presented him all neat in his white clothes…happy with his destiny and thinking of the future…he will also become admiral, he will also wander on the seas with the victorious tricolor ship, he also will be acclaimed with “Vive la France” by the emperors and queens, and the whole population” (as translated from Le Petit Journal, August 15, 1891). Brun’s monumental composition achieved accolades at the Salon of 1884 and further recognition in the Navigation and Rescue section of the 1889 Exposition Universelle. A preparatory watercolor dated 1883 is held in the Musée national de la Marine, Paris.