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Title Head of a Woman in a Red Turban
Collection Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Delacroix, Eugène (French painter, 1798-1863)
Date 1831 (dated)
Signed yes
Description According to Frédéric Villot, a close friend of the artist and the original owner, this dramatically lit study of a woman's head swathed in red was painted by lamplight. More recently it has been suggested that the study was modelled on Pauline, Villot's wife, with whom Delacroix was enamoured. The vigorous treatment exemplifies the influence of Rubens on the work of the important nineteenth-century French painter. Although it does not relate to any finished composition, it may have been made as part of the artist's preparations for the Death of Sardanapalus (1827, Louvre), considered a key manifesto of the Romantic movement.
Current Accession Number K2873
Inscription front ll 'Eug. Delacriox 1831'
Subject figure
Measurements 41.3 x 35.3 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Galerie Daber, Paris, 1962.
Provenance Acquired by Frédéric Villot from the artist, 1831[?]; Frederic Villot sale, Paris, 1865, lot 6; Luquet sale, 1868, lot 34; Maison Giroux sale, Paris, 1884, lot 26; Dr Sabourand; Armand Doria sale, 1899, lot 104; purchased by Alfred Daber from Bénézit, 1962.
Principal Exhibitions La Peinture de 1830 à 1960, Galerie Daber, Paris, 1962, cat. no. 3, ill.; Delacriox ses maîtres, ses amis, ses élèves, Galerie des beaux arts, Bordeaux, 1963, cat. no. 17; Delacroix: An Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Lithographs, Arts Council Exhibition, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; Royal Academy, London, 1964, cat. no. 26; Gifts to Galleries, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1968, cat. no. 26; Pictures from Bristol, Wildenstein & Co, London, 1969, cat. no. 30; The East: Imagined, Experienced, Remembered: Orientalist Nineteenth-Century Painting, National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, National Gallery of Ireland, 1988, cat. no. 19, as doubtful attribution.
Publications Robant, A., L'Oeuvre complet d'Eugène Delacriox, Paris, 1885, no. 358 (and erroneously also as no. 450 dated 1833, corrected in errata, p. 484, ill.); National Art Collections Fund Annual Report, 1962, no. 2092, p. 21, ill.; Delacroix: An Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Lithographs, London, 1964, cat. no. 26; Escholier, R., Eugene Delacroix, Paris, 1963, p. 101, ill.; Escholier, R., Delacroix et les femmes, Paris, 1963; Delacriox ses maîtres, ses amis, ses élèves, Bordeaux, 1963, cat. no. 17; Gifts to Galleries, Liverpool, 1968, cat. no. 26; Pictures from Bristol, London, 1969, cat. no. 30 (unpaginated), ill.; Catalogue of Oil Paintings, City Art Gallery, Bristol, Bristol, 1970, no. K2873, p. 148, ill. p. 147; Johnson, L., Eugène Delacroix, a Critical Catalogue, Oxford, 1981, no. D14, pp. 232-33, pl. 181, as doubtful attribution; Serullaz, M., Delacroix, Paris, 1981, cat. no. 120, p. 183; Tout l'oeuvre peint de Delacroix, Paris, 1981, p. 100; Thompson, J. The East: Imagined, Experienced, Remembered: Orientalist Nineteenth-Century Painting, Dublin, 1988, cat. no. 19, p. 68.
Notes

Inscribed on stretcher, nineteenth-century hand: 'Delacroix Etude du Sardanapale / 209 fzhh'.

Although Lee Johnson accepted K2872 in 1964, he later doubted its authenticity, 1981; James Thomson, 1988, robustly defended the study as 'pure Delacroix' and emphasised its impeccable provenance. Thompson also suggested that Pauline Villot was the model for the study.

Rights Owner Bristol's Museums, Galleries & Archives
Author Dr Susan Steer

 

 

 

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