• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7625

    19th Century European Art

    21 January 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 31

    Alfred de Dreux (French, 1810-1860)

    Etalons au galop: Galloping stallions

    Price Realised  


    Alfred de Dreux (French, 1810-1860)
    Etalons au galop: Galloping stallions
    signed 'Alfred De Dreux' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    20½ x 31¼ in. (52 x 79.4 cm.)

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    Alfred de Dreux was the leading French animal painter of his day, popular not only in his own country but also in Victorian England.

    De Dreux was introduced to horse painting at an early age thanks to his family's very close friendship with Théodore Géricault (see lot 30), who painted three portraits of Alfred as a child. Moreoever, together with his uncle, from the age of seven onwards, Alfred frequently accompanied the older painter in his studio or on excursions to study horses in their stables.

    Just like English artists such as Stubbs and Landseer, De Dreux had a profound understanding of equine anatomy derived from intensive study of his subject. His style is characterised by a lively, slightly nervous touch, which aptly renders the energy and shimmering coats of the animals he paints, and a rendition of landscape which owes much to the artist's close friendship with the Barbizon painter, Pierre Théodore Rousseau.

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    M.C. Renauld, Alfred de Dreux: Le cheval, passion d'un dandy parisien, Paris, 1997, p. 62 (illustrated).