Hans Eduard Bühler, 1893 - 1967
November 15, 1985
Christie's (London), [lot 58]
Art Market New York
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Théodore Géricault (French, 1791 - 1824)
Watercolor over graphite
21.1 × 23.8 cm (8 5/16 × 9 3/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
His brow was bent, his eye was glazed;
He raised his arm, and fiercely raised,
And sternly shook his hand on high
As doubting to return or fly .
Taken from English Romantic poet Lord Byron's work of 1813, The Giaour: A Turkish Tale, these verses inspired the French Romantic painter Théodore Géricault to make this well-known watercolor. The dramatic story of an Arab Christian living as an infidel within his Muslim homeland tapped the vogue for Orientalism, which stemmed in part from Napoleon's recent campaigns in Egypt and Syria. Géricault's choice of subject matter was also affected by his passion for horses, which he often represented with great sensitivity.
On a visit to England in 1820, Géricault learned the British style of watercolor painting, which emphasized translucent