Signed lower left L. Deutsch
The Palace Guard (1900-02)
oil on panel/huile sur panneau
In the present painting Deutsch is at the height of his powers. The figure of the guard exudes pride and grandeur and his pose in unyielding and commanding. This same figure appears in another work that bears the same title from 1900, which is currently in the Nadj Collection. A number of Deutsch's favorite props, such as the Indo-Persian helmet and shield as well as the exquisitely embroidered green silk fabric, appear in both compositions.
A study for the present painting illustrates the astonishingly exact and detailed planning involved. Deutsch produced many sketches and color studies before moving forward with a composition, and it is apparent that with each stage of planning and execution he aimed for perfection.
Deutsch's use of architecture is similar to a stage set, as it utilizes to help reinforce the human figure. In his composition of the palace guard, Deutsch frequently used columns, gateways, exquisitely worked masonry and marbles to accentuate the might and glory of his sitters.
Source Christie's Catalog New York April 2006, p. 36
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