Eugène Louis Gabriel Isabey
St. Hubert's Day (The Blessing of the Hounds), c. 1870s
Oil on panel
63.78 H x 47.72 inches
162 H x 121.2 cm
Framed: 73.5 x 56 inches (186.7 x 142.2 cm)
Signed lower right "Isabey"
St. Hubert’s Day by Eugène Louis Gabriel Isabey
Demisch Danant is pleased to offer this historical painting for sale with all profits donated to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.
The son of celebrated miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Isabey, Eugène Louis Gabriel Isabey (1803-1886) embarked on a career as a landscape and seascape painter. He was one of the first French artists of that era to explore Normandy and Brittany, helping usher the small coastal village of Etretat to prominence with his paintings.
Eugène Isabey made his debut at the Salon of 1824, exhibiting a number of seascapes and winning a first-class medal in the seascape painting category. It was about this time he met Eugène Delacroix and Richard Parkes Bonington, both of whom would prove to be a great influence on the young artist. He is since considered to be one of the most important French seascape painters of the 19th century.
Isabey is also known for his “historical paintings,” which he started producing in the 1840s, following a Romanticist interest in and rediscovery of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. A passion for the literature of his time through the novels of Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and Honoré de Balzac inspired Isabey to depict many real historical events, although some of them were purely imaginative.
From these “historical paintings,” Demisch Danant presents St. Hubert’s Day, a painting typical of the multi-figural composition of Isabey’s works from the 1870s, and it is one of the most appealing subjects of that period. Saint Hubert’s conversion to sainthood took place on Good Friday in the eighth century A.D. when, while hunting he came upon a stag with a crucifix between its antlers. Saint Hubert later became venerated as the Patron saint of hunters due to his ethical hunting practice. And for his feast day on November 3rd, hounds are blessed during Mass held in his honor. This blessing of the hounds is so vividly depicted by Isabey, and this tradition continues to this day throughout Europe and America.
This painting might have been very important to Isabey considering he kept it with him until his death in 1886. In 1887, it was sold as part of the sale of his estate at Galerie Georges Petit in Paris, and it received the highest price of the auction. A few years later, the work traveled to the US and was owned by collector Georges I. Seney, followed by entering the collection of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, who sold it in 1976. It is assumed the last owner donated the painting to the St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New York.
Demisch Danant is looking forward to finding a new home for this important 19th-century painting and helping the St .Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center by donating the profit of its sale to the organization.
About St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
For more than 80 years, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center has been dedicated to helping any animal in need, growing families through adoption, protecting animals from harm, and providing programs and resources so people and pets can stay together. With a people-focused, community-based approach, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center treats every animal as an individual and emphasizes specialized care for both animals and their families, advocating for positive change to create a world where all animals can thrive. www.sthuberts.org