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Under the Roman Sun: Landscape, Brigands, and the Late Grand Tour


The First Communion

Eugène Carrière (French, Gournay 1849–1906 Paris)

Oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 21 in. (65.4 x 53.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Chester Dale, 1963
Accession Number:
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower right): Eugène Carrière

  • Provenance

    Max Dearly, Paris (until 1925; sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 11, 1925, no. 2, as "La Communiante," to Dale); Chester Dale, New York (1925–63)

  • Exhibition History

    Wingate, North Carolina. Wingate College. "Nineteenth Century," April 28–May 28, 1968, no catalogue.

    New York. Kent Fine Art. "Eugène Carrière: The Symbol of Creation," May 8–June 30, 1990, unnumbered cat. (fig. 48, as "The Bride [First Communion]").

    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe," June 8–October 15, 1995, no. 43.

    Ancienne Douane, Musées de Strasbourg. "Eugène Carrière: 1849–1906," October 19, 1996–February 9, 1997, no. 46.

  • References

    Anne-Marie Berryer. "Eugène Carrière: Sa vie, son œuvre, son art, sa philosophie, son enseignement." PhD diss., Université de Bruxelles, 1935, vol. 1, p. 171, no. 627.

    Robert James Bantens Pennsylvania State University. Eugène Carrière: His Work and His Influence. Ann Arbor, 1983, pp. 64–65, 223 n. 160, fig. 24, dates it about 1896; relates it to the white-robed figure in "The Prayer II" (Private collection; Nora-Milin 2008, no. 805).

    Robert James Bantens with an introduction by Robert Rosenblum. Eugène Carrière: The Symbol of Creation. Exh. cat., Kent Fine Art. New York, 1990, pp. 14, 81–83, fig. 48 (color), call it "The Bride (First Communion)" and date it 1896.

    Gregory Galligan. "Metaphors for Forces Unseen." Art International 13 (Winter 1990), p. 96, calls it "a tremulous testament to matrimonial reluctance".

    Guy Cogeval in Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe. Exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Montreal, 1995, pp. 312, 509, no. 43, colorpl. 458, dates it about 1896 and mentions it as an example of Symbolism's iconography of purity.

    Cécile Debray-Duhamel in Eugène Carrière: 1849–1906. Exh. cat., Ancienne Douane, Musées de Strasbourg. Paris, 1996, pp. 152–53, no. 46, ill. (color), dates it about 1896; notes that Carrière first treated this subject in "The First Veil" (1886; Musée de beaux-arts, Toulon; Nora-Milin no. 181); remarks that it illustrates Carrière's definition of "une tache blanche où il y aurait tout"; suggests that it may have been a study for the triptych "Christ on the Cross" (now dispersed).

    Véronique Nora-Milin with Alice Lamarre. Eugène Carrière, 1849–1906: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. [Paris], 2008, p. 255, no. 808, ill., dates it about 1898; illustrates an oil study for this picture (Private collection, Paris; no. 809).

  • Notes

    There is an oil study for this picture (private collection, Paris; Nora-Milin 2008, no. 809).

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History