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Schiller & Bodo
Sold to a private collector
Charles Bargue (French, 1825-1883)
Negre Assis / The Sentinel
Signed and dated: Bargue—72
Oil on panel, 10 x 7-3/4 inches
Courtesy of Schiller & Bodo

One of the first in a series of important small genre oils on panel, this was Bargue's first orientalist work, no doubt inspired by J. L. Gerome, with whom he shared a studio at the time. Two highly finished paintings had preceded it in 1871, but neither displayed the brilliant colors for which Bargue was admired in France, Britain, and America during the 1870s and 1880s.

Critics and collectors alike believed that Bargue surpassed his compatriots as a colorist and master of realist detail. Perhaps this explains why Bargue appealed to many collectors, including the Vanderbilts, and obtained prices, especially after his premature death, vastly in excess of most other artists.

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