Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863)

A Severed Hand and Two Ecorchés of a Leg

The Artist’s studio sale, Hôtel Drouot, 22-27 February 1864, (probably part of lot 200)
Private collection, England
Christie’s, London, July 30, 1999, lot 134

cf. P. Grunchec, L`opera completa di Gericault, 1978, no. 179.
cf. Grand Palais, Paris, Gericault, 1991, p. 136-141, cat. 175-177.
L. Johnson, The paintings of Eugène Delacroix, A Critical Catalogue, 1832,
Vol. IV, second printing, and future Vols. V and VI, second printings.
The Journal of Eugène Delacroix, 1995, p. 361, 383-84.

Delacroix may have used our study while working on his first masterpiece of 1822,
The Barque of Dante. In the lower right of that painting, a drowning man grabs the beard of a second drowning man, with a hand that recalls in reversed position the central motif of our picture.

More than thirty years latter, Delacroix wrote in his Journal of 1857 “As I was having luncheon today, two pictures ascribed to Géricault were brought to me to give an opinion on. The small one is a very indifferent copy; costumes of Roman beggars. The other is an amphitheatre subject; arms, feet, etc. also dead bodies; it is admirable in strength and relief, with those careless lapses so characteristic of the painter`s style, and which further increase its value. … The fragment by Géricault is truly sublime; it more than ever proves that there is neither serpent nor horrible monster, etc., and is the best possible argument in favour of the Beautiful, as it should be understood.”


Eugène Delacroix

(1798 - 1863)

A Severed Hand and Two Ecorchés of a Leg