Eugène-Louis Lami (1800 - 1890)

Horace Vernet Out Riding Sold

Watercolour and gouache, heightened with white, with pen and brown ink over an underdrawing in pencil.
Signed and dated E. Lami 1841 at the lower right.
160 x 218 mm. (6 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.)


The present sheet is a depiction of Lami’s first teacher, the painter Horace Vernet (1789-1863). The grandson of the landscape and marine painter Claude-Joseph Vernet and the engraver Jean-Michel Moreau, and the son of the military and history painter Carle Vernet, Horace Vernet was well known as a painter of military and equestrian subjects. (In 1822 Vernet collaborated with Lami in providing the illustrations for a book of French military uniforms of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.) A former director of the Académie de France in Rome, Vernet was a distinguished professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris at the time Lami produced this charming watercolour.

Although the drawing has in the past been described as a portrait of Horace Vernet and his children, this is not possible as the artist did not have any sons. One of the boys accompanying Vernet in this drawing may, however, be his grandson, Joseph Delaroche-Vernet, born in 1836.

This watercolour was once in the collection of Robert Schuhmann, who married Alice-Marie Lehmann, the daughter of the collector Albert Lehmann. As well as forming a highly significant collection of 18th century French books, Schuhmann owned some five hundred drawings and pastels by such artists as Barye, Boilly, Boldini, Cochin, Delacroix, Eisen, Gavarni, Hoin, Robert, Rousseau and Carle Vernet, among many others.

Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 11-12 December 1925, lot 74
Robert Schuhmann, Paris
His sale, Paris, Galerie Jean Charpentier, 7 December 1934, lot 24 (‘Horace Vernet et ses enfants se promenant à cheval dans la campagne’)
Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, London, in 1986
Private collection, London.

Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Le décor de la vie a l’époque Romantique 1820-1848, 1930, p.66, no.510 (‘H. Vernet à cheval. Aquarelle. Signé. 1841.’)

Eugène-Louis LAMI

Horace Vernet Out Riding


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