Horace VERNET (1789-1863)

Lot 29
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Estimation :
800 - 1000 EUR
Horace VERNET (1789-1863)

Cossack on his horse
Pencil on paper, enhanced with wash.
21 x 17 cm
Presented in a gilded wooden frame from the first half of the 19th century, decorated with palmettes and swans at the corners.
Our drawing is to be included in a cycle of live studies that the artist carried out during his trip to Russia, from June 1842 to the summer of 1843, when he was unofficially commissioned by King Louis-Philippe to investigate the dispositions of Tsar Nicolas I and his court concerning France.
In the same year, the publication of the book La Russie en 1839 by the anti-Russian Baron de Custines had offended the Russian elite vis-à-vis French society.
Horace's drawings draw on the works of his father Carle (1758-1836), a horse-lover who was particularly keen to illustrate the Russian occupation troops, who were criss-crossing Paris in 1815, especially the Cossacks.
Stylistically, one can relate this sheet to Horace's drawings, which are contained in the two albums that the Louvre owns (Inv. RF 29131 to 29176).
In the same vein, quickly treated with lead pencil, we can quote the "Soldat debout, vue de profil" (Christie's Paris sale, 29 March 2012, lot 183).
"Let me tell you about the country I'm travelling through! From Moscow to here, I have only seen large flat plains cut off from one another by ravines, rivers, the Volga, the Dniéper, and so on. A crowd of tumuli say to the passer-by: here we fought. Winners and losers sleep together; grass grows on the bodies of the Tartar, the Pole, the Swede and the Cossack."
Personal letters from Mr. Horace Vernet (...) during his trip to Russia. Paris, 1856
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