Eugène Fromentin (French, La Rochelle 1820–1876 Saint-Maurice)
Oil on canvas
42 3/4 x 28 1/2 in. (108.6 x 72.4 cm)
The John Hobart Warren Bequest, 1923
Not on view
A first version of The Arab Falconer (Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va.) was included in the Salon of 1863. The present picture was painted the following year. It reverses the composition and differs in its details.
Inscription: Signed and dated: (lower left) -1864-; (lower right) Eug.Fromentin
John Hobart Warren, New York and Hoosick Falls, N.Y. (by 1879–d. 1908); his widow, Harriette Mott Warren, New York (1908–d. 1923)
Edward Strahan [Earl Shinn], ed. The Art Treasures of America. Philadelphia, , vol. 2, pp. 130, 132, reproduces a drawing similar to our painting, with the horse facing in the same direction, but with the falconer facing forward; locates it in the collection of J. Hobart Warren and notes that it resembles, but does not exactly match, the "Arab Falconer" in the collection of Mr. Wall, Providence (now Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va.).
Louis Gonse. Eugène Fromentin: Peintre et écrivain. Paris, 1881, p. 79, notes that Fromentin often repeated his original composition of the falconer (Chrysler Museum) in oil, watercolor, and pencil.
"Accessions and Notes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 18 (July 1923), p. 181, as "The Falconer".
"Metropolitan Gets Warren Paintings." New York Times (February 8, 1923), p. 19.
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, p. 157, ill., call it one of several repetitions of the 1863 Salon painting (Chrysler Museum).
James Thompson inThe Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse, the Allure of North Africa and the Near East. Ed. Mary Anne Stevens. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London. New York, 1984, p. 135, under no. 24 [British edition, "The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse: European Painters in North Africa and the Near East," London, 1984, p. 133, under no. 22], calls it a variant "that lacks the verve and power of the original".
Jefferson C. Harrison. The Chrysler Museum: Handbook of the European and American Collections. Selected Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings. Norfolk, Va., 1991, p. 112.
Patrick Shaw Cable. "From North Africa to the Black Sea: Nineteenth-Century French Orientalist Drawings." Cleveland Studies in the History of Art 7 (2002), pp. 114, 124 n. 44, discusses a watercolor of the falconer (Cleveland Museum of Art) which has the same inversed composition as our painting, suggesting that both works are "replicas Fromentin was encouraged to make because of the immense popularity of [the Salon] picture".
James Thompson and Barbara Wright. Eugène Fromentin, 1820–1876: Visions d'Algérie et d'Égypte. 2nd rev. ed (1st ed., 1987). Paris, 2008, pp. 220, 242, ill., suggests that Fromentin's two watercolor compositions of the falconer (private collection; Cleveland Museum of Art) influenced him to use lighter colors in our painting, to comparably lesser effect.
The reception of the original Arab Falconer at the Salon of 1863 (now Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va.) led Fromentin to execute several variants, including our painting. A watercolor in the Cleveland Museum of Art has a very similar composition to ours, in reverse. An autograph replica of the Salon painting was sold at Tajan, Paris, November 22, 2004, no. 241.