Description & Technical information

Prince Demidov owned a large number of Auguste Raffet’s watercolours, drawings and sketchbooks, which were dispersed at auction in Paris in 1870.

The present sheet was probably drawn during Raffet and Demidov’s journey through Spain between July and November 1847. Demidov published an account of the trip in 1858, under the title Étapes maritimes sur les côtes. Twenty years later, in 1878, the artist’s son published an account of his father’s work based on the elder Raffet’s notes. Under the year 1847, the artist noted that, on the 5th and 6th of October in Seville, he drew three studies of a ‘Costume de contrebandier’, of which the present sheet is likely to be one. Another drawing by Raffet of the same sitter, shown standing and inscribed ‘Juan Arria, contrebandier’, was recently on the art market in Paris.

Date:  1847
Period:  1850-1900, 19th century
Origin:  Seville, Spain
Medium: Pencil underdrawing, Pen, black ink, Black and brown wash
Signature: Inscribed juan arria at the lower centre and Seville 3 oct at the lower right.
Further inscribed Raffet / espagnol assis on a printed Collection Lallemand label pasted onto the old backing board.
Extensively inscribed with mounting and framing instructions in pencil on the verso.

Dimensions: 317 x 221 cm (124³/₄ x 87 inches)
Provenance: Prince Anatole Demidov (or Demidoff), Prince of San Donato, Paris and Florence (Lugt 2127)
His sale (‘Collections de San Donato. Quatrième Vente: Aquarelles, dessins, pastels et miniatures. Dessins, croquis et études par Raffet, Voyages en Crimée et en Espagne’), Paris, Boulevard des Italiens, Charles Pillet, 8-10 March 1870, part of lot 529 (‘Séville. Etudes de gitanos, contrebandiers, hommes du people, danseurs et danseuses, soldats, penitents, vues diverses, rues, places, paysages, processions et promenades. Aquarelles et dessins, environ 75 feuilles.’)
Lallemand collection (with a collection label on the backing board). 

Literature: Probably Auguste Raffet, Notes et croquis de Raffet, Paris, 1878, p.46.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints