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Study for "Louise Vernet on Her Death Bed"

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Paul Delaroche created a convincing and transcendent image of his dead wife in "Louise Vernet on her Death Bed." Louise lays blissfully in profile, as both her mouth and right eye remain slightly open. Her elevated head rests on two pillows, as locks of her hair fall vertically to her shoulder and drape diagonally across her bosom. Delaroche carefully defined each curl, delineating individual hairs and shimmering highlights, in Louise's palpable coiffure. Her pale skin and her lifeless body indicate that she is deceased. Rather than present the sordid details of death by fever, Delaroche conveyed Christian triumph over death, as a halo emerges from the dark background to encircle his wife's beautiful head. This drawing is an angelic effigy.
Date Description Narrative
1/01/2002Treatmentexamined for exhibition; cleaned; mounted; other
  • The Essence of Line: French Drawings from Ingres to Degas. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma. 2005-2006.
Provenance Goupil, Paris (?); William T. Walters, Baltimore, May 18, 1867 (?), by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions Paul Delaroche in graphite, lower left, recto; Paul Delaroche in graphite, right side, verso; 6467 in graphite, center, verso; 27 in graphite, upper right, verso; partially trimmed Whatman watermark visible in raking light, lower edge of drawing, verso
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters, 1867 (?)

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ca. 1845
graphite on slightly textured, moderately thick, cream wove paper with watermark
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 5 7/8 x W: 6 3/4 in. (14.9 x 17.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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