Théodore Chassériau

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Théodore Chassériau
Study for “Commerce Uniting the Peoples: Eastern Merchants at a Western Port"
Graphite, colored pencils (red, blue and yellow) on wove paper
15 1/4 x 9 inches (387 x 222 mm)
Gift of Karen B. Cohen.

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Chassériau was born in Spanish-held Santo Domingo to parents of French and Haitian descent. A precocious student, he trained with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres but soon felt the influence of Eugène Delacroix. After an initial voyage to Algeria in 1846, he began exploring North African subjects in his work, including in his designs for six murals adorning Parisʼs Cour des Comptes, or Court of Audit. The monumental scheme was devoted to the glory of France in peace and wartime, with the former celebrated by scenes of international commerce. Here, Chassériau depicts traders from North Africa and the Mediterranean basin bringing their goods to a European port. The murals were damaged by fire during the 1871 Paris Commune and only survive in fragments.

Christian Humann-Guilleminot (1929-1981), Paris; Galerie Arnoldi-Livie, Munich; Jane Roberts, Paris; from whom purchased by Karen B. Cohen, 1983.
Associated names: 

Cohen, Karen B., former owner.