painting on panel signed lower right,
32.5 x 24 cm.
On June 24, 2017 was presented at auction a painting of Gustave Moreau. Sold 18 800 euros, this one revealed the vein again romantic of the artist.
A pupil of Edouard Picot and stylistically close to Théodore Chasseriau, Gustave Moreau began to gain notoriety around 1854-55: his large format with a mythological subject controlled by the State was exhibited at the Universal Exhibition, a rare privilege for an artist so young.
Painted on unpainted wooden panel (a board), signed lower right and probably dated "54", our table can be related toother small formats on woodrepresenting various episodes of the falcon hunt. One of them with a man walking in the foreground is located in the Hiroshi Matsuo collection in Japan (27 x 19.5 cm, dated 1852); another with the hunters on horseback was in the Paris sale Tajan study, from March 30, 2011, lot 127 (27 x 21.5 cm, dated 1853).
Here, in the background, with one hand, the character shakes a lure and holds the falcon still hooded at his other wrist, while in the foreground, the heron fled.
In his correspondence with Eugène Fromentin, Gustave Moreau wrote in April 1856: "About our provincial exhibitions, nothing has yet returned from our shipments.I sold in Bordeaux for 200 F two falconer sketches; a nice price, it's encouraging said Mr. Dauzats, I would like to see it, but, to tell the truth, I had great joy when I heard that something was being bought for me ". Indeed, the Bordeaux Arts Society bought two panels and awarded them to two of its members.
Bibliography: Pierre-Louis Matthieu, Gustave Moreau, his life, his work. Catalog raisonné of the finished work, Paris, 1998, p.276, n ° 19 and 20.
Sheet written by the Cabinet of Eric Turquin, expert on old paintings in Paris.