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    Sale 2175

    Old Masters and 19th Century Art

    4 June 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 98

    Jean Léon Gérôme (Vésoul 1824-1904 Paris)

    Le Saut de Mettius Curtius

    Price Realised  

    Jean Léon Gérôme (Vésoul 1824-1904 Paris)
    Le Saut de Mettius Curtius
    signed and inscribed 'J.L. Gerôme./A son ami Membrée.' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    21 x 30 in. (53.4 x 76.2 cm.)


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    An unusual subject for Gérôme, the present painting depicts one of the Roman legends about the origin of the Lacus Curtius, an old site within the Roman Forum. According to Titus Livius a chasm opened in the middle of the Forum in 362 B.C. which was filled by the sacrifice of the young Roman eques Marcus Curtius who heroically leapt into the abyss. By doing this, he demonstrated that the most precious thing in Rome was the courage and strength of its soldiers.

    Provenance

    Edouard Membrée.
    Tompkins sale; America Art Association, New York, 5 March 1915, lot 58.
    John Hemming Fey, by whom bequeathed to the Canton Museum of Art, Ohio, in 1946.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that Membree, to whom Gérôme dedicated this painting, was a composer from Valenciennes who's work, such as Cesar's testament, was inspired by classical and mythological subjects.


    Pre-Lot Text

    SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITION FUND OF THE CANTON MUSEUM OF ART


    Literature

    G. Ackerman, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Monographie et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1992, p. 358-9, no. 480.