Antoine-Louis Barye

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Antoine-Louis Barye
Portrait of Clara Barye. Verso: Study of a tiger in repose
ca. 1845
Graphite on paper.
9 1/8 x 6 5/16 inches (231 x 159 mm)
Bequest of John S. Thacher.

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The young woman depicted on one side of this sheet can be identified as the artist's daughter, Clara Barye (1834-1847), based on comparisons with painted portraits such as one offered for sale in 2012 (New York, Sotheby's, 4 May 2012, lot 53) in which she fashions her hair in the same distinctive topknot and wears delicate, dangling earrings. Clara was one of the two daughters Barye shared with his first wife, Jeanne-Adélaïde Balzer (d. 1834), who died after only a decade of marriage. His other daughter, whose likeness is known from a portrait in the Louvre even if her name is unknown (RF 2221), died in the mid-1840s, and Clara died in March 1847. Barye would father eight additional children with Amélie-Antoinette Houdart (1827-1896), whom he married in 1864. Barye's painting of Clara holding her cat (private collection) is thought to show her closer to the end of her life, while this pencil portrait was executed around 1845 when she was eleven years old.
The study of the tiger in repose shows the animal in similar proportions and pose to that of his watercolors. Barye depicted tigers in multiple media, including sculpture, paintings, watercolors, and prints--with seemingly endless variations of poses and attitudes informed by intensive study and regular sketching.
Barye, Antoine-Louis, Baillio, Joseph, and Wildenstein Company. "The Wild Kingdom of Antoine-Louis Barye, 1795-1875 : A Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of the Wildlife Conservation Society, November 4-December 9, 1994 / [exhibition Curated and Catalogued by Joseph Baillio]." New York: Wildenstein, 1994, no. 133.


Stamp of the artist's atelier in red ink (Lugt 220) at lower right of bottom center; verso, same stamp at lower left of bottom center.
Watermark: fragment (close to Heawood 1364).

Barye atelier sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 7-12 February 1876; Jacques Zoubaloff (1876-1941), Paris; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, 30 May 1929, lot 8, recto repr.; Paris; John S. Thacher (1944-2004), Washington, D.C.
Associated names: 

Thacher, John S., former owner.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 317.

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