Sale: Drouot Rive Gauche, Labat, Paris, March 24-26, 1980, lot 127
Sale: Hôtel des Ventes, Enghien, March 29, 1981, lot 132
Hubert Duchemin, Paris (by 2012)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Paris, Salon des Artistes Français, 1875, no. 1714
Bordeaux, Galerie l’Horizon Chimérique, Objets extraordinaires, December 12, 1991-January 12, 1992, no. 6
In the catalogue of the Salon of 1875, the listing for L’avare includes a description of the scene: “A man has accumulated all sorts of wealth in a vault known only to him and whose door closes with a latch. Finally there came a day when the latch did not function, and the unfortunate man died upon his useless treasures, and no one could hear his cries or help him” (as translated from the French). The anecdote relates to the true story of Claude Pecoil’s tragic death, dating from the end of the reign of Louis XIV, which also inspired an earlier opera by André Grétry.
In L’avare, Revel lavishes attention on the costume, treasures and environment, as well as the miser’s strikingly realistic expression of terror. At the 1875 Salon, this work was exhibited together with a portrait of Éliphas Lévi (1810-1875), a French occult author and ceremonial magician.