Nov 03, 2021 - Sale 2586

Sale 2586 - Lot 706

Price Realized: $ 16,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 20,000
(Saint-Maurice 1798-1863 Paris)
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel.

Brush and brown ink and wash and white gouache on tan laid paper mounted on card stock. 176x232 mm; 7 1/4x9 1/4 inches. Indistinctly signed in ink, lower right recto.

Provenance: Charles-Louis-Raymond Soulier (1792-1866), a friend of the artist; collection Soulier; sold Paris, May, 1902; private collection, unknown; Estate of Sally Weld Webb, New York,1996; thence by descent to Jane and Jonathan Weld, New York, 2019; thence by descent to the current owner, private collection, Connecticut.

Among Delacroix's most important and influential murals is Jacob Wrestling with the Angel in the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris. Though he received the commission for Saint-Sulpice in 1849 and worked out his composition through a series of drawings, its execution in situ would not be completed until 1861 due to competing projects and bouts of poor health.
Delacroix's drawings of the subject vary from some which closely represent the composition of the completed painting, such as Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, black chalk on tracing paper arched at the top, circa 1850, in the Morgan Library & Museum, New York (accession number 1964.2), to others which, like the current drawing, focus more on the figures of Jacob and the angel and their dramatic struggle, as with two separate sheets in the Musée du Louvre, Paris: La lutte de Jacob avec l'Ange, pen and ink on paper, circa 1854 (inventory number MD 2002-13), and Étude pour la Lutte de Jacob avec l'Ange, pencil on paper, circa 1854 (inventory number MD 1997-2).

While Delacroix favored drawing in ink, chalk and pencil, he also produced expressive, and likely early studies of compositions in brush and wash extensively heightened with white, emphasizing chiaroscuro and figural volume. Similar drawings can be found in the Musée du Louvre, Paris: Etude pour le Sultan du Maroc, brush and ink and wash heightened with white, circa 1845 (inventory number RF 9381); Etude pour l'assassinat de l'Evêque de Liège, brush and ink and wash heightened with white, circa 1827 (inventory number RF 55339); and La Vierge sur des nuages tenant le Sacré-Coeur de Jésus et la Croix, brush and ink and wash heightened with white, circa 1820 (inventory number RF 32245, now in the Musée Delacroix, Paris).