Move your mouse over the image and click to zoom in

Two Portraits of Théodore Gericault as a young man and on his death bed C. 1823-24.

Léon Cogniet

* 1794 in Paris † 1880 in Paris

Crayon lithograph (one on chine-collé). Size of sheet: circa 51.7 x 38 cm and 36 x 27 cm.

Literature: Beraldi V, 12 and 13.

Provenance: B.V.12 - Amédée Faure (1801-1878), Paris, (L. 115).

Two delicate impressions on a full sheet, one of important provenance.

Léon Cogniet became friends with Géricault in 1812, while they were both studying under Pierre Guérin (1774-1833) and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The two artists collaborated almost ten years later on the series of lithographs Etudes des Chevaux (1823), of which several impressions are included in our exhibition.

During their lifelong friendship, Géricault was the subject of many of Cogniet's portraits, until the very last one on the artist's death bed. Both our portraits show him with very short hair and wearing a beret, in the same year before he became chronically ill with syphilis. His delicate face features are elegantly reproduced, conveying Géricault's intense expression. However, in the second portrait (B.V.13), the artist's face looks much more hollowed from the disease, his beard unkempt, and the head more clearly leaning on a pillow. This image of the artist on his death bed served indeed as a model for the retrospective portrait of a younger Géricault (B.V.12). (1)

The print B.V.12 belonged to the artist Amédée Faure, who entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1824 - the same year when the print was conceived - and, like Cogniet, would become a prolific portraitist and lithographer. The provenance suggests that our impression was given to Faure by Cogniet himself.

(1). See Marie-Noëlle Grison, Léon Cogniet, Géricault sur son lit de malade, 1823, Paris, Fondation Custodia, online at

£ 8500.-


We use cookies to enhance your experience on this website. Find more info here.