Théodore Géricault (Bologna 1791 - 1824)
Study of a horse in profile facing left
12.8 x 18.1 cm
Former collection: LJ.A. Coutan-Hauguet (Lugt 464) and N. Dikheos (L. not cited)
The name of Théodore Géricault is one of the greats of romantic painting. From an early age he was interested in drawing and the equine world. A pupil of Guérin (himself a pupil of David), he acquired a technique and a good foundation and embarked on the reproduction of the works of the greatest such as Rubens or Vélasquez. Despite a rather cold reception in the salons, he won a gold medal in 1812, took part in that of 1814 and exhibited the Raft of the Medusa in 1819, a painting for which Delacroix posed for one of the castaways. His untimely death prevented him from going to the end of his romantic work and from being recognized at its fair value by the artists and the public of his time. It was not until 1991-1992 that an exhibition on all of his work was organized at the Grand Palais in Paris (1).
This high-quality study by Théodore Géricault represents a horse in profile facing left.
Different elements allow us to compare this work to a watercolor by the artist kept at the Louvre (Horse attached in a stable, RF 1459). First of all, there is an element in the history of the work: the identical provenance, both of which belonged to the Coutan-Hauguet collection. The parallel is also stylistic. The treatment of light on the horse's body, very subtly indicated by the hatching of different tones in the drawing, closely resembles the play of light on the horse's body in the Louvre watercolor. These similarities confirm the probable relationship between the two works.
Here we recognize Géricault's characteristic pencil stroke: an analytical and precise drawing of the anatomy of the animal as well as these long parallel hatches indicating the play of light. The style of this drawing allows us to date this sheet around 1821 - 1823.
1. E.BENEZIT, Dictionary of painters, sculptors, draftsmen and engravers, n ° 6, Ed. Gründ, Evreux, 1999, p.40
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