Exhibitions/ Art Object

Study for "Young and His Daughter"

Artist:
Pierre Antoine Augustin Vafflard (French, Paris 1777–1837 Paris)
Date:
ca. 1804
Medium:
Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
Dimensions:
10 3/4 x 8 1/8 in. (27.3 x 20.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Whitney Collection, Promised Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003

Accession Number:
2003.42.53
Not on view
This work is a study for Young and His Daughter (Musée des Beaux-Arts d'Angoulême), which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1804. The entry in the Salon catalogue (no. 467) included a quotation by the painting’s subject, the English poet and writer Edward Young (1683–1765), excerpted from the "Quatrième nuit" of a French edition of his extended poem The Complaint, or Night-Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–45; the relevant passage is found in "Night 3" of the English edition). The figure identified as the daughter in the title of the Salon painting was, in fact, Young’s step-daughter Elizabeth, who died in Lyons in 1736, when they and their respective spouses were en route to Nice. In this macabre scene, Young is shown carrying her corpse to the only cemetery in town that would receive her for burial, that of the Protestants, having first been refused at the Catholic cemetery. Her death was followed by those of her husband Henry Temple, son of First Viscount Palmerston, and his own wife, Lady Elizabeth Young, in 1740. This series of tragic deaths inspired Night-Thoughts, which was illustrated by William Blake in 1797 and by Thomas Stothard in 1799.

The quickly worked, richly impasted surface of the study contrasts with the smooth and highly finished picture at Angoulême. Despite its small dimensions and sketchiness it contains all the essential elements of the Salon picture. (For the latter work, see Lacambre 1974; see also Adrien Goetz in L’invention du sentiment aux sources du Romantisme, exh. cat., Musée de la Musique, Paris, 2002, pp. 118–19, no. 22.)

[Asher Ethan Miller 2013]
the artist, Paris (until 1832; studio sale, Salle Lebrun, Paris, April 5–6, no. 78, probably this painting, for Fr 14.50 to Debay); Debai (possibly spelled Debay; from 1832); [Galerie de Staël, Paris, until early 1990s; sold to Whitney]; Wheelock Whitney III, New York (from early 1990s)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Path of Nature: French Paintings from the Wheelock Whitney Collection, 1785–1850," January 22–April 21, 2013, unnumbered cat. (fig. 67).

J[ean]. L[acambre]. French Painting, 1774–1830: The Age of Revolution. Exh. cat., Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. 1975, p. 634, under no. 178 [French ed. "de David à Delacroix, la peinture française de 1774 à 1830," Paris, 1974, p. 626, under no. 178], mentions the sketch sold as no. 78 in Vafflard's studio sale, Paris, April 5–6, 1832 (possibly this work).

Asher Ethan Miller. "The Path of Nature: French Paintings from the Wheelock Whitney Collection, 1785–1850." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70 (Winter 2013), p. 47, fig. 67 (color).

Related Objects

The Musicians

Artist: Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) (Italian, Milan or Caravaggio 1571–1610 Porto Ercole) Date: 1597 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 52.81 On view in:Gallery 621

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh: An Allegory of the Dinteville Family

Artist: Master of the Dinteville Allegory (Netherlandish or French, active mid-16th century) Date: 1537 Medium: Oil on wood Accession: 50.70 On view in:Not on view

The Lamentation

Artist: Ludovico Carracci (Italian, Bologna 1555–1619 Bologna) Date: ca. 1582 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 2000.68 On view in:Gallery 601

Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints

Artist: Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome) Date: ca. 1504 Medium: Oil and gold on wood Accession: 16.30ab On view in:Not on view

Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses

Artist: Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence) Date: ca. 1890 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 51.112.1 On view in:Gallery 826