Émile-Antoine Bayard (French, 1837-1891)
Émile-Antoine Bayard (French, 1837-1891)

The Duel; and The Reconciliation

Émile-Antoine Bayard (French, 1837-1891)
The Duel; and The Reconciliation
signed and dated 'Émile Bayard 1884' (lower left) and (lower right) respectively
oil on canvas
38½ x 51½ in. (97.7 x 130.8 cm.)
(2)a pair
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 7 May 1998, lot 218.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculptures, dessinateurs et graveurs, Paris, vol. 1, 1966, p. 481 (as Un duel des femmes).

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Lot Essay

This duel with rapiers would have taken place in the Bois de Boulogne, with the combatants, their seconds and friends all women of the class so familiar in the works of Alexander Dumas. The duelists removed their clothing above their waists to avoid infection in the event that a sword pushed clothing into the wound it caused. In 1884 Bayard exhibited the dueling painting An Affair of Honor at the Salon which traveled the world to great acclaim. The artist followed it with a companion and sequel The Reconciliation which depicts one of the wounded cocottes being comforted by her antagonist as a second summons for the distant coach.

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