Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier, French, 1815-1891
Title: A Guard
Date: 1840
Medium: Oil on panel
28 x 19 cm
Signed: lower left: Meissonier 1840
Credit Line: Presented, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, 1950
Object Number: NGI.4259
DescriptionMeissonier made many paintings depicting men in historical contexts. He favoured the era of Louis XIII and figures like soldiers, writers, and musicians. These pictures romanticised the past and the idea of male camaraderie. In this respect, they were akin to popular novels of the period by Alexandre Dumas such as 'The Three Musketeers' and 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. During the artist’s lifetime, these small figure paintings were much in demand by wealthy collectors.
ProvenanceBaron Gustave de Rothschild; Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
Exhibition HistoryExposition Meissonier, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 24 May - 24 July 1884, no.3

Meissonier, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1893, no. 30

La Peinture Francaise du XIXe Sièclé, Collection Chester Beatty de la Galerie Nationale d'Irlande, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais, 21 January - 27 March 1989; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper, 8 April - 5 June 1989; Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, 20 June - 4 September 1989, no.33

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