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Study for "Jacob's Dream"

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Given the fact that it was commissioned by Walters over a year before the publication of the Doré Bible, this drawing illustrating the story of Jacob's dream as told in Genesis 28:11-13 is probably a preliminary study or a variation of the composition found on the full-page, wood-engraved illustration first published in "La Sainte Bible: Traduction nouvelle selon la Vulgate par Mm. J. -J. Bourasse et P. Janvier" (Tours, Alfred Mame et Fils, 1866, I:facing page 34). So popular was the Doré Bible that it was also issued in English that year and later appeared in German; it has since been printed in numerous editions in various languages. The Walters' drawing is smaller in format than the engraved illustration and differs in that it shows fewer angels, has palm trees rather than olive trees, and has less steeply inclined steps. To distinguish the heavenly specters from the earthly setting, these ethereal forms are rendered in white, while the landscape elements are in ink and wash. Given Doré's occasional practice of painting directly on the wood block, thereby eliminating the preparatory study on paper, a final drawing for the composition might never have existed.
Date Description Narrative
10/31/1969Treatmentcleaned; re-housed
3/10/1980Examinationexamined for loan
1/01/2002Treatmentexamined for exhibition; other
  • Flight, Fantasy, Faith, Fact. Dayton Art Institute, Dayton. 1953-1954.
  • Fortuny and His Circle. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1970.
  • Christian Imagery in French Nineteenth Century Art, 1789-1906. The Shepherd Gallery, New York. 1980.
  • A Connoisseur's Portfolio: Nineteenth-century Drawings and Watercolors in the Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983.
  • 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.
  • Great Illustrations: Drawings and Books from the Walters' Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2010.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, January 21, 1865, by commission [George A. Lucas as agent]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] ink, lower right: G. Doré
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1865

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pen and ink with ink wash and white heightened on beige, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 9 3/4 x W: 7 1/2 in. (24.7 x 19.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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