Jean François Raffaëlli

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Jean François Raffaëlli
Alphonse Daudet's House at Champrosay
ca. 1870
Pen and black ink, black chalk, on paper.
15 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches (395 x 240 mm)
Gift of Robert S. Pirie.

Champrosay, a village eleven miles south of Paris, was a haven for artists and writers, and aside from the novelist Alphonse Daudet, it also was a refuge for Delacroix and Marie Laurencin. Here we find a group of friends walking in the garden at Daudet's house. Leading the group are Daudet, walking arm-in-arm with the art historian and critic Gustav Geffroy, followed by the author's wife Julia Allard Daudet, the writer Émile Zola, the collector and writer Edmond de Goncourt, and the artist himself.
There were many connections among the group, all of whom were involved with the naturalist movement. Raffaelli had settled in Asnieres in 1879, and his work as a social realist brought him into contact with Zola. The following year Degas invited him to exhibit with the Impressionists, and Raffaelli contributed to their shows in 1880 and 1881. Goncourt's literary salons were a meeting place for writers, and Geffroy (later an important early historian of Impressionism) met Zola there in the mid-1880s while Goncourt sat to Raffaelli for his portrait in 1888.


Signed in black chalk at lower left, "J. F. Rafaelli"; inscribed in black chalk chalk, at bottom left, "a reunion at Champrosay"; inscribed at bottom right, "bis or / daim rouge"; inscribed on verso, in pencil, at lower left, "Gustave Geffroy donne le bras à A. Daudet / Puis: Mme Daudet / Puis, E. Zola / Ensuite, au milieu Edmond de Goncourt / Et dans le coin, J. F. Raffaëlli".
Watermark: none.

The artist's estate; sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 19 December 1977, lot 81, repr.; Robert S. Pirie (1934-2015), New York.
Associated names: 

Pirie, Robert S., former owner.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 293.