Charles Hubert Millevoye’s popular 1808 poem “Le Tombeau de coursier: Chant de L’Arab” (“Memorial to the Steed: The Arab’s Song”) inspired numerous paintings and sculptures. Here the desolate desert emphasizes the despair of the Arab who grieves the death of his faithful companion. His horse has been avenged, for the body of another lies nearby. This exotic scene is an early example of Romanticism, a movement that would flourish for the next thirty years. With its emphasis on the imagination and emotion, the Romantic period in French art is difficult to characterize. As the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire wrote in 1846, “Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling.”
Open Content Program
The Birmingham Museum of art makes available digital images of works in the Museum’s collection believed to be in the public domain. Images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial. Users do not need to contact the Museum for authorization to use these images. They are available through the Online Collection at artsbma.org. See detailed instructions for specific work types below.
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- Titles L'Arabe pleurant son coursier (The Arab Lamenting the Death of his Steed) (Proper)
- Artist Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse, French, 1784 - 1844
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 32 x 39 in. (81.3 x 99.1 cm) frame: 42 × 49 3/8 × 3 1/2 in. (106.7 × 125.4 × 8.9 cm)
- Credit Line Museum purchase with funds provided by the Beaux Arts Krewe, 1994.29
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Provenance Dealer Gallery Stair Sainty Matthiesen, Inc., New York; purchased by the Beaux Arts Krewe for the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1994