Another Faléro Study, 1877
I really must be very slow. You would think that my recent revelation that “Witches Gathering” aka “Sorcieres qui vont au Sabbat” was actually a study for “Departure of the Witches” would have made look a little closer at this little painting, titled “Study of a Witch”:
If I had, I might have realised that it is quite likely to be a another study for “Departure of the Witches.” In this case, only a single detail, the figure on the left. The composition is not identical, so it is not certain, but both Faléro studies were sold by Bonhams in New York on 26 January 2007 (New York Sale 14650, European Paintings: Including Old Masters and 19th Century Drawings, Lot no. 124), and both studies are inscribed by the artist’s son on the reverse. Anyway, here—again—is the detail and the full painting:
The study (at top, above) is 185 x 234mm, the full painting (below) 1455 x 1182 mm.
The inscription on the study reads “Etude de Sorciere N.22 / par Louis Falero / de la collection d’ebauches / et oeuvres inedites / signe par son fils / R Falero” [Study of a Witch No. 22 / by Louis Falero / from the collection of sketches and / unpublished works / Signed by his son / R. Falero]. The number should give us pause: study number twenty-two! I wonder how many of these studies are still circulating out there, and how many books—my only assets—I will to have to sell to buy one…