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Three blacksmiths in their workshop. Ca. 1820 - 21

Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault

* 1791 in Rouen † 1824 in Paris

Pen lithograph. Size of sheet: circa 21 x 27.8 cm.

Literature: not in Delteil.

Provenance: J. Sigmund Bermann (1794 Oesdorf, Westphalie - 1846 Vienna), (Lugt 396).

Fine impression on a rough working proof paper.

This rare impression came from a group of Géricault's prints which was assembled by the German born dealer Johann Sigmund Bermann, who was active as an artist at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1820 and 1829 (Lugt 235). Apparently, this print is unrecorded, but it can be attributed to Géricault through its provenance and stilistically based on his pen lithographs.

The blacksmith workshop was one of Géricault's favourite subjects, which he represented several times during his career. On the left, a blacksmith is shoeing a horse while a dog is resting in front of him. On the right, two other blacksmiths are making a horseshoe. From a stylistic point of view, the print is comparable to the pen lithograph of 1821 Les Scieurs de bois (Delteil 28), where similar humble workers are busy around a wooden cart (fig. 1). The similarity is particularly striking when looking at the pen work handling. Moreover, the rendering of the wooden poles built into the wall on the right of the second horse is very similar to the one of the Le Marchand de Poissons Endormi (Delteil 24), another of Géricault's pen lithographs, dated 1820 (fig. 2). By comparison, our impression coherently fits with all the pen lithographs made between 1820-1821.

Of great rarity, but of even graeter interest as a contribution to our knowledge of the artist's printed oeuvre.

 

 

Fig. 1 Géricault, Le Scieurs de Bois, 1821, pen lithograph, size of sheet: 30 x 44 cm. (Delteil 28)

 

Fig. 2 Géricault, Le Marchand de Poissons Endormi, 1820, pen lithograph, size of sheet: 21.8 x 29.5 cm. (Delteil 24)

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