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Style Napoleon III / Ref.11607

RICARD AUGUSTINE, « Après la chasse » Salon of 1885

Width: 194'' ⅞  495cm
Height: 138'' ¼  351cm

19th century.

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This large painting, signed and dated, was executed by Augustine Ricard and exhibited at the Salon of 1885 under the title "After the Hunt". It depicts an old kennel where griffons gather after the hunt; several are injured, and all appear exhausted. There are indications that it was a hound hunting, such as the horn used by hunters to communicate with each other and the dogs, and the hunter’s attire hanging on a beam in the left part of the painting, with the characteristic red jacket. The subject matter is familiar to the artist, as noted by the baron de Vaux in an article published in the newspaper Gil Blas on 28th May 1892: "It is clear that Madame Ricard knows about hunting and is the wife of a huntsman."

While the choice of hunting as a subject in painting is not uncommon, the representation of the aftermath is less so. This choice allows the artist to portray the behind-the-scenes, creating an emotional resonance in the scene.

Commentators from the Salon of 1885 show that Augustine Ricard’s painting was well-received by her contemporaries and by critics during its exhibition. J. Noulens wrote in Artistes français et étrangers au Salon de 1885 (1885): "A very fine kennel, proud running dogs, well-grouped on a bed of straw, good setting" (p. 152). In L’Univers illustré published on 27th June 1885, the work is also mentioned in laudatory terms: "After the Hunt is signed with a woman's name [...]. There is nothing feminine [...] in this view of a kennel interior, painted with a remarkable firmness, with a truly astonishing relief of texture and color" (p. 407). The painting is again cited in L’Univers illustré dated November 21, 1885: "Several times at this year’s Salon, I stopped in front of Mrs. Augustine Ricard’s large canvas [...]. My still-young heart of an old huntsman beat under the impression of this scene rendered with such striking truth" (p. 743).

Born in Paris, Augustine Ricard was a student of Louis Mettling (1847-1904) around 1885 and later of Henri Gervex (1852-1929), around 1888. She had a particular fondness for animal subjects, especially dogs. She was one of the few female painters to exhibit at the Salon in the 19th century, where she highlighted her work through its monumentality and the use of oil painting. She presented the canvas L’Épagneul anglais at the Salon de Dijon in 1887 and another titled Les Meutes at the dog exhibition in Paris in 1892.

After the Hunt enjoyed great success, and the artist received numerous compliments. It is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of her work.

Price: on request

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