Édouard Detaille | Les Incroyables au Jardin du Luxembourg

French, 1848-1912

Les Incroyables au Jardin du Luxembourg

Signed and dated E. DETAILLE/ 1869
Oil on panel
10 x 8 inches (25.5 x 20.3 cm)
Framed: 16½ x 14½ inches (41.9 x 36.8 cm)

"The incroyable," writes the author of the Catalogue of the James H. Stebbins Collection in 1889, "was one of the most curious products of the great French Revolution. He was the antithesis of the revolutionist, the sans-culotte who gave too much attention to death to spare time for dress. The maddest extravagance of dandyism was indulged in by the incroyable, who won his familiar nickname by the incredible exaggeration of his costumes and customs. He literally, as his title would imply, carried his worship of the wild vagaries of foolish fashion past all belief. His appearance was a protest against the brutal abandonment of all the gentler practices of life that characterized the reaction against aristocratic and polite existence which came with the commencement of the revolution." 

Robert L. Cutting, by 1879 (his estate sale, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, March 22, 1892, lot 53, sold for $1,025)
M. Knoedler & Co., New York

Edward Strahan, ed., The Art Treasures of America being the Choicest Works of Art in the Public and Private Collections of North America, Philadelphia, 1879-1882, vol. II, pp. 35, 36
Emilia F.S. Dilke, "France's Greatest Military Artist," The Cosmopolitan, New York, vol. XI, September 1891, p. 521, illustrated
The Collector, New York, vol. III, no. 11, April 1, 1892, p. 172
Marius Vachon, Detaille, Paris, 1898, p. 164
John Denison Champlin, Jr., Cyclopedia of Painters and Painting, New York, 1913, vol. 1, p. 398
François Robichon, Édouard Detaille: Un Siècle de Gloire Militaire, Paris, 2007, p. 14, illustrated


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