Charles-Édouard de Beaumont (French, Lannion 1821–1888 Paris)
Oil on canvas
23 1/2 x 37 3/4 in. (59.7 x 95.9 cm)
Gift of Estate of Marie L. Russell, 1946
Not on view
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): E. de Beaumont 75
Henry Hilton, New York (by 1879–d. 1889; his estate sale, Chickering Hall, New York, February 14, 1900, no. 125, as "Tomb of Philippe Pot," for $500, to Russell); his son-in-law, Horace Russell, New York (from 1900); his daughter, Marie L. Russell, New York (by 1941–d. 1946; gift of her estate to MMA)
Paris. Salon. May 1–?, 1875, no. 117 (as "Au soleil").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nineteenth-Century French Costume Prints," 1941, no catalogue? (lent by Marie L. Russell) [see Sterling and Salinger 1966].
A[lbert]. de la Fizelière. Memento du Salon de peinture, de gravure, et de sculpture en 1875. Paris, 1875, p. 16, calls the figures Eugène and Nichette.
Émile Zola. "Une Exposition de tableaux à Paris." Le Messager de l'Europe (June 1875) [reprinted in Zola, "Salons," Geneva, 1959, p. 161], calls it "piquant" and discusses it among the sentimental pictures adored by the public.
Gaston Joliet. Coup d'œil sur le Salon de 1875. [Paris], 1875, p. 12, notes that it depicts the tomb of Philippe Pot, "seigneur de Nolay, de Laroche-Pot et de Châteauneuf en-Auxois" and that the actual sculpture is owned by M. de V... in Dijon.
Adrien Dézamy. Salon de 1875: Reproductions des principaux ouvrages accompagnées de sonnets. Paris, 1876, unpaginated, no. 4, pl. V, as "Au soleil".
Edward Strahan [Earl Shinn], ed. The Art Treasures of America. Philadelphia, , vol. 2, pp. 21–23, 28, ill. (sketch), calls it "Le Tombeau de Philippe Pot" or "Au Soleil"; remarks that it is "one of the most admirable landscapes [Beaumont] has ever painted".
Cicerone. "Private Galleries: Collection of Ex-Judge Henry Hilton." Art Amateur 2 (January 1880), p. 32, states that "Judge Hilton's private Paris buyer has sent to him 'The Tomb of Philippe Pot'".
Eugène Montrosier. Les Artistes modernes. Vol. 2, Les Peintres militaires et les peintres de nu. Paris, 1882, p. 115.
Henri Bouchot. "Edouard de Beaumont." Chronik für Vervielfältigende Kunst 1 (1888), p. 18.
"The Hilton Picture Sale." New York Times (February 15, 1900), p. 7, notes that on the second night of the Hilton sale, this picture was purchased by Russell for $500.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 158–59, ill., note that it depicts a couple leaning against a statue on the tomb of Philippe Pot, a seneschal of Burgundy, and that the tomb was acquired by the Louvre; state that there is a nearly identical, though smaller, painting in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, attributed to Alfred Stevens.
Erwin and Gerda Panofsky. "The 'Tomb in Arcady' at the 'Fin-de-Siècle'." Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch 30 (1968), pp. 287–89, 293–94, 300–301, 303 n. 2, fig. 194, note that it is identical to the Stevens picture (Wallraf-Richartz Museum) except that ours is painted on canvas and executed with greater detail, darker colors, and is five times as large, concluding that the Stevens painting is a reduced copy; suggest that Beaumont used a lithograph of the tomb of Philippe Pot and filled in the landscape elements; comment that the juxtaposition of the smoking woman and her uninterested companion with the fifteenth-century tomb "mocks not so much the ideality of the land of pastoral bliss as the reality of love" as well as satirizes the fashionable nineteenth-century obsession with the medieval past.
Linda Nochlin. Realism. [reprint 1990]. 1971, pp. 58, 253, fig. 24, discusses it as an example of the "trivialization of the profound and serious".
The couple in this picture is leaning against the fifteenth-century tomb of Philippe Pot, seneschal of Burgundy. The actual tomb is in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. A nearly identical, smaller version of this composition, attributed to Alfred Stevens (Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne), may be a copy of Beaumont's painting (see Panofsky 1968).