Huntsmen stirring up their Hounds, Ca. 1875.
Oil on canvas, H. 1.29 m; W. 0.96 m
Signed lower right: Princeteau.
Provenance: Marquis de Guadalmina, Paris (commissioned from the artist)
Marquise de Guadalmina, Biarritz (inherited from the above)
Robert & Manuel Schmit, René Princeteau 1843 – 1914, ‘Chevaux et Cavaliers’, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1994, p. 93, no. 137 (ill.).
Born into a family of wealthy notable people who owned castles and vineyards in Libourne, Princeteau was deaf and mute at birth. He studied sculpture in Bordeaux and then painting at the Paris École des Beaux-Arts. The artist acquired fame with his paintings of horses at the Salon of 1855. He created numerous pictures illustrating themes relating to hunting with hounds and horse racing, as well as landscapes and equestrian portraits. In 1883, Princeteau left Paris to move to the Château de Pontus near Fronsac on the banks of the Isle. This period marks the beginning of his large compositions celebrating rural life.
René Princeteau was a hunter painter with considerable knowledge of the particular universe of hunting with hounds. A good horseman, he formed connections with the world that engaged in this type of hunting and was invited to follow the large equipages that operated in the forests around Paris. From his correspondence we know that he experienced these days of hunting with ardour and enthusiasm. Princeteau became friendly with the Comte Alphonse Charles de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (1838-1913), shown in black dress on a grey horse in the right foreground of our composition. From 1871, he received the count’s son Henri as a pupil and passed on his love of horses to him.