L’Avare

Charles Revel
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1829 – circa 1880

signed Ch. Revel  (lower right)

oil on canvas

61 x 101 cm

Provenance

Sale: Drouot Rive Gauche, Labat, Paris, March 24-26, 1980, lot 127

Sale: Hôtel des Ventes, Enghien, March 29, 1981, lot 132

Private Collection

Hubert Duchemin, Paris (by 2012)

Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

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.

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