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Horses at a Fountain

Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix, French, 1798 - 1863

Geography:
Probably made in France, Europe

Date:
1862

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
29 x 36 3/8 inches (73.7 x 92.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 151, European Art 1850-1900, first floor (Annenberg Galleries; Colket Gallery)

Accession Number:
W1950-1-2

Credit Line:
Purchased with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1950

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Additional information:
  • PublicationDelacroix: The Late Work

    The only documentary information available on the subject of this painting is the receipt Delacroix signed on October 6, 1862, confirming a new purchase by the dealer Tedesco: "I received from Monsieur Tedesco the sum of two thousand francs as a fee for a painting depicting a trough in Morocco."1

    In contrast to many of the paintings inspired by specific memories of Morocco, the scene represented here does not seem to be taken from any of the numerous observations in Delacroix's travel notebooks of 1832. On the other hand, there is a pencil sketch in a private collection that shows the point of departure for the composition; the original lacked the architectural forms at left.

    With its restrained atmosphere tinged with melancholy, the classicism of the poses, and the warm harmony of the colors dominated by dark reds, greens, and browns, this canvas ranks among the most refined works the Delacroix produced in his final year. Arelette Sérullaz, from Delacroix: The Late Work (1998), p. 322.

    1. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Départment des Manuscrits, Paris, fr. 24 019.

Provenance

Sold by the artist to Tédesco Frères, Paris, October 6, 1862. Anonymous sale (by Francis Petit), Paris, April 23, 1866, no. 14; purchased by Khalil Bey; sale, Khalil Bey collection, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, January 16-18, 1868, no. 21; purchased by Constant Say; by descent to Comtesse de Tredern (née Say), by 1885; sold to Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, March 21, 1910; sold for Bernheim-Jeune by Boussod, Valadon and Company as intermediary, to Georges Petit, May 1911; Baillehache Collection, by 1916 [1]; Prince de Wagram, Paris, (or his heirs?) by 1921 [2]; owned jointly by Alex Reid & Lefèvre, London, M. Knoedler & Co., New York, Étienne Bignou, Paris, Jos. Hessel, Paris, and Marcel Kapferer, Paris, 1929; sold by all shareholders to Marcel Kapferer, Paris, October 14, 1929 [3]; sale (probably Kapferer), Galerie Jean Charpentier, Paris, June 26, 1934, no. 7 (bought in?) [4]. Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968), London, by 1937, to 1950 [5]; sold to Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, 1950 [6]; purchased by the City of Philadelphia with the W. P. Wilstach Fund, 1950. 1. Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, Delacroix raconté par lui-même, Paris, 1916, vol. 2, p. 261, fig. 388 ("appartenant à M. Baillehache"). 2. Preceding provenance information per Lee Johnson, The Paintings of Eugène Delacroix: A Critical Catalogue, vol. 3, Oxford, 1986, no. 415. Philippe Alexandre Berthier, 4th Prince de Wagram (1883-1918), is usually associated with Paris and was a collector of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Johnson cites the Prince de Wagram as the owner in 1921, although he had died in 1918 and his collection was inherited by his sister. See René Gimpel, Diary of an Art Dealer (entry for August 30, 1929), New York, 1966, p. 372, regarding the collection and its sale by Wagram's sister Elizabeth Marguerite, Princesse de La Tour d'Auvergne-Lauraguais, in the years following his death. 3. Information from Jacquie Cartwright, Lefevre Fine Art (communication of Dec. 20, 2004). 4. The sale catalogue lists the painting only as coming from a private collector; however, the Getty's record for the catalogue lists Kapferer as one of the consignors at this auction. Kapferer still owned the painting in 1934, when he lent it to the "Exhibition of French Painting of the Nineteenth Century," Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, January 1934. Sales results listed in Beaux-Arts, June 29, 1934, p. 3, note the buyer as "M. Bellier." Since Alphonse Bellier was the commissaire-priseur for the auction, the painting may have been bought in. Neither of the Getty's annotated copies lists a buyer, which supports the possibility. 5. Beatty owned the painting at least as early as May 1937, according to a reference in the Beatty archives (information per Charles Horton, Chester Beatty Library). In 1950 Beatty gave over ninety paintings to the Irish nation. 6. Communication from Elaine Rosenberg, Paul Rosenberg & Co., June 23, 2004.


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