Attributed to Jean Louis Ernest MEISSONIER... - Lot 50 - Ader

Lot 50
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Estimation :
3000 - 4000 EUR
Attributed to Jean Louis Ernest MEISSONIER... - Lot 50 - Ader
Attributed to Jean Louis Ernest MEISSONIER (1815 - 1891)
Allegorical figure of the Republic
81 x 57 cm
On a cardboard insert lower left a monogram EM
Old restorations
Anonymous sale, Paris, Sotheby's, 25 June 2003, No. 90 (Meissonier);
At Galerie d'Orsay, Paris
In the aftermath of the 1848 Revolution, a competition for an allegorical figure of the Republic was organized to give the new regime an image embodying power and equality. Ernest Meissonier was chosen to be a member of the jury alongside Ingres, Delaroche, Cogniet and Delacroix. Among the many participants were Honoré Daumier, Hyppolite Flandrin and Jean-Léon Gérôme.
Meissonier himself proposed a project: "the Republic holding an olive branch in one hand and the tricolour flag and a sword in the other". This project was described by the artist to his son-in-law in 1873 and reported in the journal Méquillet (family archives).
The original idea of the blade entangled in the red fabric of the flag, assimilating it to spilt blood, and the treatment of the drapery are strongly reminiscent of Meissonier's style.
The element sketched in the upper left-hand corner of the painting corresponds to the olive branch described and bears witness to the preparatory nature of our painting.
Our painting can be compared to the Study of a Muse (panel, 27 x 18.5 cm) kept at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lyon. See the catalogue of the Ernest Meissonier exhibition, Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 25 March - 27 June 1993, n° 103).
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