Theodore Auguste RIBOT (St. Nicolas d'Attez 1823 - Colombes 1891)

a. Study of the Artist’s Left Hand; b. Study of the Artist’s Right Hand Sold

a. Pen and black ink.
Signed with the artist’s initials tR at the lower centre.
101 x 152 mm. (4 x 6 in.) [sheet]

b. Pen and black ink.
Signed with the artist’s initials tR at the lower right.
112 x 155 mm. (4 3/8 x 6 1/8 in.) [sheet]

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Théodule Ribot produced a large number of drawings of his hands, which have something of the character of self portraits. As his contemporary biographer, Louis de Fourcaud, wrote of the artist in 1885, ‘Long evenings are spent sketching hands in all their possible movements. Because of this persistence, he acquires an incredible skill as a draftsman.’ As a modern scholar has further noted, ‘Ribot placed great emphasis on hands, recognizing their expressive qualities.’ In his paintings, faces and hands are usually more strongly lit than the rest of the composition, and as such acquire a particular significance. In such drawings as this pair of studies, each hand is shown as if holding a pen or chalk.

At an exhibition of Ribot’s work held in Colombes in 1934, ten drawings of hands were exhibited, all of which came from the collection of a M. Aizpin. Drawings of hands by Ribot – either studies of single hands, or of several studies of hands on one sheet - have occasionally appeared on the art market, while a drawing of a left hand was at one time in the collection of Henry Scipio Reitlinger.

Theodore Auguste RIBOT

a. Study of the Artist’s Left Hand; b. Study of the Artist’s Right Hand

A1061-1062

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