Lot 4
  • 4

Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix

20,000 - 30,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix
  • Four figure studies
  • Pen and brown ink
  • 210 by 326 mm; 8¼ by 12 7/8  in


Estate of the artist (L.838a);
with Galerie Claude Aubry, Paris,
where acquired in 1972

Catalogue Note

This energetic sheet of studies, executed by Delacroix in pen and brown ink, is a characteristic example of the artist copying figures derived from the Old Masters, an exercise that he employed, much like many of his contemporaries, throughout the course of his career. A number of these studies originate from Delacroix's travels abroad, particularly in Italy, however many were also created during his countless visits to the Louvre, where he was able to peruse, at his convenience, the innumerable masterpieces within the collection. Whilst documenting these various trips to the Louvre, Delacroix’s diaries reveal the extent to which he was influenced by art of the past, with Rubens in particular, with his “exaggerations and his swelling forms” proving to be perhaps the greatest influence on the Frenchman. However beyond Rubens, Delacroix is also known to have made drawn copies from artists as varied as Dürer and Titian to Giulio Romano and Goya.

The source of the figures portrayed in the present lot, containing three separate female studies and a further study of a figure reading or writing, thus far remains unknown. It is, however, perfectly plausible that all four figures may originate from different paintings. The potential for various interpretations of the female subjects depicted, has led to suggestions as wide ranging as The Penitent Magdalene, Bathsheba and The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden.