Eugène Delacroix

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Eugène Delacroix
Two Sailboats
Watercolor and pen and brown ink, on paper.
3 3/16 x 6 13/16 inches (82 x 173 mm)
Bequest of John S. Thacher.

In August 1854, Delacroix recorded his arrival in Dieppe, a seaport along the northern coast of France facing the English Channel. He frequently traveled to the coast in the summers, and when in Dieppe, he stayed at 6 quai Duquesne facing the harbor. The artist took long walks alone and with his caretaker Jenny le Guillou, and he noted making an extended study of the sea. That summer Delacroix made drawings of the ships seen from his window, and after some photographs of female models by Jean-Marie-Louis-Eugène Durieu he brought with him. His journal entries recount a particular interest in the variety of ships in the harbor, deriding newer vessels "that make of man just another machine," including "those English steamboats that are so mean in their forms" and "a big ship that they call a clipper. Here is another American invention that will let people go faster: always faster."
In one of his sketchbooks now in the Louvre, seven pages are covered in sketches of mostly sailboats and ships from this Dieppe sojourn, dated September and October (RF 9464-9470). The Morgan's sketchbook sheet likely dates from the same visit.


Inscribed on verso in pen and brown ink, "Biseau (?) or fin 3227"; atelier stamp in red ink at lower right (Lugt S. 838a).
Watermark: none

The artist's atelier; atelier sale, Paris, F. Petit and Tedesco, 17-29 February 1864, possibly part of lot 601; John S. Thacher (1904-1982), 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. 335.

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