North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Legends of the West: Western & Native American Sale

Sat, Sep 23, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 26

The Lamentation Of Christ, Delacroix c. 1852-63

Estimate: $9,000 - $12,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000
Featured in this lot is an Original "The Lamentation Of Christ, A Study In Progress" attributed to Eugène Delacroix, circa 1852-1863; Provenance: Henry Sjaardema collection Big Sky, Montana. Delacroix, considered the greatest painter of the Romantic period, is probably best known for his painting “Liberty Leading the People.” He is far less known and appreciated as an important painter of religious subjects, yet with 120 pictures and over 220 drawings depicting traditional subjects, like The Pietà or Christ on the Cross, initiate the style of modern religious art. Although Delacroix (1798-1863) has been characterized as a radical and an unbeliever who found religion irrational, these pictures challenge claims that Delacroix’s religious subjects were few in number, mere commissions remote from his personal interests. Delacroix’s religious paintings were informed in general terms by the Romantic penchant for introspection that defined the aesthetic experience as a sign of the spiritual. In 1847, 1848, and again in 1857, Delacroix painted variations of The Lamentation. Delacroix’s early work is in marked contrast to his later versions which were created in a variety of media from the 1840s through the 1850s. The later pictures demonstrate a transformation from the solitary, strong, heroic figure to a more austere and vulnerable personality, posed in a stark and haunting vision of suffering as described in the Gospel of Mark. Delacroix continued to paint until the end of his life, but in his last years, perhaps as a result of personal reflection, he increasingly focused on Christian-themed works. This oil painting features the central figures of the Virgin Mary, arms outstretched, standing over the white-robed lifeless body of Christ being borne by three men. Next to Mary is a young boy, three adults are in the forefront right side while one man in the forefront left side is holding a torch in front of what appears to be the entrance to a cave. In the above left background, a cross is visible on a hill, three figures kneeling over a dead body. This painting was made over two strips of horizontal canvas. Appears unsigned but is titled and dated on an accompanying metal plaque. The painting has an ornate gold gilt wood frame. Craquelure observed, scuffing, and spotting observed on the reverse of the canvas. Visible art measures 92"L x 66.5"W with the frame measuring 97.5"L x 72.5"W x 2.5"D.*

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