Baroness X. Amazon in Top Hat by a Pond, Ca. 1845-1850.
Oil on canvas, H. 1.16 m; W. 0.89 m
Signed lower left: Alfred De Dreux.
Provenance: Galerie Hector Brame, Paris
Sale Hotel Drouot, 26 March 1953 no. 58 and 10 June 1964
Collection Elion, Sale Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris 9 May 1979, no. 59
Private collection, France.
- Marie-Christine Renauld-Beaupère, Alfred de Dreux le peintre du cheval, Lausanne, 1988, p. 118.
- Marie-Christine Renauld, L’Univers d’Alfred De Dreux, 1810-1860 : suivi du catalogue raisonné, Arles, 2008, p. 10 et p. 329.
Alfred de Dreux, who studied under Léon Cogniet and was a fervent admirer of Delacroix, also had close ties with Théodore Géricault, whose equestrian paintings had a decisive influence on his works. In 1831, de Dreux exhibited Intérieur d’écurie (Interior of a Stable) at the Salon in Paris, which immediately earned him a reputation among collectors and critics alike. He was thus taken in by the French and British nobility, who appreciated the elegance of his works. He counted the Duke of Orléans, the Duke of Aumale and Queen Victoria among his patrons. In 1840, he began his famous series of portraits of horses from the renowned stables of the Duke of Orléans. This Parisian dandy, a chronicler of the hunt, of officers on horseback, of races and elegant riding habits, thereby became one of the most prominent figures in society under Louis-Philippe I and Napoleon III.
Following the Revolution of 1848, he followed a defeated Louis-Philippe to Claremont (Surrey) in England. There, he gained popularity among the English aristocracy, for whom he painted a number of equestrian portraits. In 1852, upon his return to Paris, he opened his atelier at 26 rue de Douai, where he completed a number of equestrian portraits of the family and inner circle of Napoleon III. He returned frequently to England.