Portrait of Hippolyte Taine
Signed twice and dedicated à M. Bourdeau/ souvenir amical/ Jean Béraud
Oil on panel
18¼ x 15 inches (46.3 x 37.8 cm)
Framed: 21¾ x 18¼ inches (55.2 x 46.3 cm)
Painted in 1889, Jean Béraud's portrait of the important French critic and historian Hippolyte Taine is a study for his group portrait of pre-eminent French intellectuals, Le Journal des Débats in 1889, which was painted to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Journal. It was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1889 and is now in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Taine, wearing the red Légion d'Honneur pin on his lapel, is seated in the lower right foreground of the composition.
"Hippolyte Taine (1828-1893) was a philosopher, historian and critic," writes Patrick Offenstadt, "and a member of the Académie Française. He began working for the Journal on 31 July 1856, and wrote many literary and historical articles" (Offenstadt, p. 260). He was commemorated on several postage stamps. Jean Bourdeau (1848–1928), to whom the present study is dedicated, appears in the same group portrait; he was a friend of Béraud’s and a regular contributor to the Journal. Other portrait studies for Le Journal des Débats in 1889 are in the collections of the Musée Carnavalet, Paris (where the present study was exhibited in 1935) and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen.
Jean Bourdeau, Paris, gift of the artist
Madame Bourdeau, Paris
Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 13, 1974, lot 60
Private Collection, London
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Troisième Centenaire de l’Académie Française, 1935, no. 244
Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Jean Béraud: Peintre de la Vie Parisienne, 1936–37, no. 35
Adolphe Brisson, "A travers la quinzaine", La Revue Illustrée, March 15, 1893, p. 255, illustrated
Patrick Offenstadt, Jean Béraud 1849–1935, The Belle Epoque: A Dream of Times Gone By, Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne, 1999, p. 260, no. 342, illustrated