Mahogany, gilded bronze
Gift of the Société des Amis du Musée Delacroix, 2002
H. 0,685 m ; L. 0,550 m ; Pr. 0,400 m
This painting table consists of two drawers decorated with bronze motifs, with storage for brushes jars on the upper tray. The museum possesses a second painting table, made from plainer wood, including two drawers fitted with lion-headed handles; it sits atop an X-frame, with a hand-turned wooden crossbar. At their origin, both pieces of furniture must have been mere tables, called either « travailleuses » or « chiffonnières », which were frequently found in bourgeois houses during the Restauration or the Empire. They are thought to have been transformed into painting tables.
In his will, dictated to his notary ten days before his death, Delacroix stipulated that everything belonging to him (including furnishings), whether it be at Champrosay or in Paris, be sold at public auction, once the objects bequeathed to his relatives and friends had been set aside.
Hence on Tuesday 1 March 1864, in the studio on Rue de Furstenberg, the plasters, easels, utensils, and objects in the studio (according to a list included in the inventory drawn up between 22 August and 29 September 1863) were sold. There were no painting tables in this list, as the artist had given them to friends and family. This one may come from the Riesener family.
To Léon Riesener, his cousin, Delacroix bequeathed "a sum of 20,000 francs, and the entire property of [his] country house in Champrosay, with all the outbuildings and all the furnishing and decorations."
Maurice Sérullaz,Delacroix, Paris, 1989, pp. 454 - 458.