Originally commissioned in 1854 by Baron de Pierres to celebrate the 28th birthday of Eugénie, comtesse (countess) de Teba, (May 5, 1826, Granada-July 11, 1920, Madrid), wife of Napoleon III and empress of France (1853–70). The Baron was the first equerry for Empress Eugenie, meaning he was the head stableman for her horses. The long, horizontal painting portrays a stag hunt in the forest of Fontainebleu. If you examine the background, you can see Eugenie and her court on horses watching the hunt at the base of steepled building.
Signed and dated “G Lepaulle 1854”, the oil on canvas painting is surrounded by a rich giltwood frame (original) adorned with foliage, florets between overlapping bands, and Vitruvian waves. In the scene, three deer are being chased by a pack of hunting dogs followed by two huntsmen on horses. Both men hold horns as they sit atop black horses, with one rider in blue, and the other in red, cream, black, and gold. Lush greenery can be seen in the foreground with ash and brown barked trees on either side of a clearing that reveals a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Lepaulle makes excellent use of shadows, most noticeably the thick woods on the right cast in shadows, and the second huntsman in blue who is barely visible. Truly a unique painting with a historical provenance, our oil on canvas painting of a stag hunt for Eugenie will be the focal point of any wall that it is hung.
CONDITION: Very strong antique condition. Original frame with professional restoration to strengthen the corners and add rigging on the back. Traces of old red bole from light losses to gilding, indicative of age. Per writing on the verso (Reentoile), the painting was relined in 1871.