A fascinating allegorical scene by French master Paul-Louis Delance (1848-1924), an artist known for the allegorical and history paintings of his early career.
In the work presented here, we see France, injured and in ruins, in spite of Justice, who is on her side, in the foreground. The spirit of the swarthy Gaul however seems unbroken and set on revenge. You can perceive pickle helmets among the headwear of the soldiers in the second plan.
The artwork would have been painted just at the end of the Franco Prussian war of 1870-71, when France was defeated. It is likely a preliminary work for a large paining or fresco in a town hall or other municipal building.
Paul-Louis Gustave Delance was born on March 14, 1848 in Paris. His grandfather was Comte Joseph van Roosebeck from Belgium.
Delance studied art at cole des Beaux-Arts with Jean-Lon Grme and Lon Bonnat. Delance first participated in the Salon in 1865 and was active until 1874.
He taught at the Acadmie Delcluse, the Dominican school at Arcueil, and taught private lessons. Students of his included Jean Mannheim, John Noble Barlow, Robert Burns, Jenny Eakin Delony, Anna Sahlstn, William Edwin Atkinson, among others.
On17 July 1908, Delance was made a Knight of France's Legion of Honour.
His work is today in various museum collections, with numerous works in the National Museum Wales, and can be found in Paris in the Muse Carnavalet, and the Muse d'Orsay. A painting by the artist was sold by Christie's in 2016 for 218.000.
The graphite on paper drawing presented here dates from circa 1870. It is signed at the lower left, and monogrammed at the lower right. Measuring 45 x 59 cm at sight, the overall framed size is 62 x 78 cm.
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