Charles Dufresne 1876-1938
N04213 Spahi attaqué par un Lion (Spahi attacked by a Lion) 1919
Inscribed 'dufresne 19' b.l.
Watercolour and gouache on paper, slightly irregular; paper 18 x 23 1/4 (45.6 x 59.2), painted area 16 x 20 1/4 (40.6 x 51.5)
Presented by C.L. Rutherston 1926
Prov: [? with Galerie Barbazanges, Paris; ? with Independent Gallery, London]; C.L. Rutherston, London
Spahis are soldiers of certain Arab cavalry regiments in Algeria and Tunisia.
This gouache, previously catalogued as 'Spahi', was evidently a study for an oil painting reproduced in L'Amour de l'Art, I, 1920, p.81 as 'Spahi attacked by a Lion'. The painting measures 110 x 110cm. The main differences are that the oil painting is square in format instead of oblong, the tree trunk in front of the horse's flanks has been eliminated, and the colours are considerably brighter (in particular the horseman wears a brilliant red tunic). The painting was subsequently sold at the Palais Galliera, Paris, on 27 November 1968, lot 51, and is reproduced in colour in the catalogue.
Dufresne also made a rather similar etching of this subject, but with an upright format and with the horse more in the act of rearing.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.193-4, reproduced p.193