New York, Park Avenue
6 May 1998
William Adolphe Bouguereau* (1825-1905)
Bohmienne au tambour de Basque (Gypsy Girl with Basque Tambourine)
signed 'W-BOUGUEREAU' (lower left)
oil on canvas
39 x 25 in. (99.7 x 64.2 cm.); unframed
Goupil et Cie., Paris (acquired from the artist, 2 July 1867)
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 21 May 1987, lot 100
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L. Baschet, Catalogue illustr des oeuvres de W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1885, p. 36.
M. Vachon, W. Bouguereau, Paris, 1900, p. 148.
In 1866 Bouguereau left Durand-Ruel for the rival gallery Goupil et Cie. who had offered him an exclusive contract for his work. Bohmienne au tambour de Basque must have been one of the first pictures he painted for Goupil et Cie. The model for the painting reappears in later works by the artist: L'italienne au tambourin (1869), Promenade ane (1878) and Le Repos (1879). Praised for his meticulous attention to detail, Bouguereau was known to sketch the folds of drapery and the hands and feet of his models for hours at a time in his studio in an effort to achieve accuracy in his paintings. This is supremely illustrated in the delicate positioning of the hands of the young woman and in the texture of the folds in her dress in Bohmienne au tambour de Basque. Even the smallest of details (the sunlight which fleetingly strikes her headband and the leaves on the tree behind her) are carefully rendered so as to give the painting a sense of realism.
The late Mark Steven Walker confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
Please note that the illustration is flipped in the catalogue.
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