Alexandre Denis ABEL DE PUJOL (Valenciennes 1787 - Paris 1861)
A Woman Abducted by a Mounted Arab Warrior Sold
Black chalk, brown wash and touches of watercolour. Laid down. Inscribed (signed?) Abel at the lower right. Further inscribed Enlévement d’Hélène Vivandiere / au 17 Léger (chevaux Arabes) on the old backing sheet.259 x 252 mm. (10 1/4 x 9 7/8 in.) at greatest dimensions.ENQUIRE
As the inscription on the former backing sheet notes, this drawing depicts the kidnapping of a vivandière named Hélène by an Arab horseman. The term vivandière was used to refer to camp-followers; women who accompanied the army into battle, serving mainly as cooks, laundresses and nurses. The present sheet, stylistically reminiscent of the work of Abel de Pujol’s contemporaries Horace (1789-1863) and Carle Vernet (1758-1836), was until recently mounted and used as a handheld fan. The same composition is found in a drawing attributed to Horace Vernet; one of a pair of pencil and watercolour drawings which appeared on the London art market in 1975.