Gustave DORÉ (Strasbourg 1832 - Paris 1883)
Exotic Tropical Birds in a Landscape Sold
Watercolour and pencil.
A study of the same subject, in pencil and light brown wash, on the verso.
Stamped with the Doré atelier stamp (Lugt 681a) at the lower right.
Signed(?) Gustave Doré on the verso.
409 x 203 mm. (16 1/8 x 8 in.)
Datable to the early 1880s, near the end of the artist’s career, this drawing can be related to group of five very large watercolours of birds by Doré which were in 1911 in the collection of the English sculptor, illustrator and African explorer Herbert Ward (1863-1919), who had been part of Sir Henry Morton Stanley’s expeditions in Africa between 1887 and 1889. The five watercolours by Doré, each well over a metre and a half in height, were sold at auction in London in 1968. The recto of the present sheet is a study for a tropical bird which appears in two large watercolours from this group, of Macaws and Other Exotic Birds and Cockatoos and Other Exotic Birds, while the verso is a compositional study for another watercolour, depicting Parrots and Other Exotic Birds, from the same group.
The posthumous vente Doré studio sale of April 1885 included four watercolours and one painting of tropical birds, while the retrospective exhibition of the artist’s works on paper, held in Paris earlier the same year, included two watercolours of parrots lent from private collections. A watercolour of parrots by Doré is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg, while a small painting of a parrot was in a private collection in 1932.
A somewhat similar arrangement of many exotic birds on branches, although not specifically related to the present sheet, is found in Doré’s illustration entitled ‘“Regarde bien ces oiseaux, dit-elle: Je te donnerai celui que tu aimeras le mieux.”’ for Emile de Girardin’s Contes d’une vieille fille à ses neveux, published in 1856.
The studio of the artist, Paris (Lugt 681a).