New York, Park Avenue
22 May 1997
Jean-Louis-André-Théodore Géricault* (French, 1791-1824)
A Horse biting the back of Another
black lead, watermark M in a crowned cartouche
10 x 12 in. (254 x 318 mm.)
E. Delacroix (L. 838a).
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G. Bazin, Théodore Géricault, Etude Critique, Documents et Catalogue Raisonné, Paris, 1992, V, no. 1468, pp. 28, 143-44, illustrated.
The present drawing is related to the two horses in the foreground of the lithograph Le chariot chargé de soldats blessés of 1818 (Delteil 11). The attribution has been confirmed by Professor Eitner in a letter dated 9 January 1997. Professor Eitner points out that the drawing is 'characteristic' and of 'particularly interesting provenance', since it was probably given to Delacroix on the occasion of his visit to Géricault's studio in 1818. In the same year Delacroix posed for one of the figures in e Radeau de la Méduse: the young man who lies on his face, his left arm thrown forward.
Delacroix was a keen admirer of Géricault and his name appears frequently in Delacroix's journal. He records, for example, that on 18 March 1824 he went with Coutan to buy some of Géricault's prints.
An oil sketch on paper of the chariot is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Its composition differs from that of the print, focusing more on the chariot which is seen from the back rather than the front. In the lithograph, Géricault depicts himself as the standard bearer on the right.
We are grateful to Professor Eitner for his help in cataloguing the present drawing.
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