A masterpiece of concision, these two grey babouche slippers with yellow insoles and unevenly drawn red edging seem very sober compared to the brightly colored ones with disheveled tassels in the foreground of The Women of Algiers (Musée du Louvre, 1834).
A few lines written on the reverse of this pastel, lot 78 from the sale of Alfred Robaut’s collection on December 18th, 1907, cite the painter Edgar Degas, who had failed to acquire this little study:
I went up to 120 francs for Delacroix’s little babouches. It’s absurd! And I had to give them up… It’s impossible to buy a Delacroix anymore! At the time however the great painter and collector had already succeeded in amassing some one hundred works by the master he so admired.