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               JACQUES SELIGMANN & CO., INC.  
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Dr. Nathaniel Soifer                           March 31, 1961
3900 Sieber Avenue
Dayton Ohio 

VOUET, Simon (1590-1649)
oil on canvas c. 1620
41 x 32-3/8th 

The figure of a halberdier is seen in a three-quarters view, his head turned over his left shoulder, his eyes thus looking directly outwards. Heightening the dramatic effect of the composition are his left hand on his hip, his elbow piercing the foreground, his raised right hand holding a lance. The daring posture and foreshortening is no doubt due to the influence of Caravaggio, for this painting dates from about 1620 when the artist was still in Rome. If the composition, the use of color, the highly contrasted light and shaded areas reflect an Italian ambient, these elements have been assimilated and transposed by Vouet who was to be one of the leading French artists of the century. 

It is also of considerable interest to note the resemblance between this "Halberdier" with the "Gaucher de Chatillon" (now in the Louvre) painted at the request of Cardinal Richelieu for the "Galerie des Hommes Illustres" of the Palais Cardinal, in which Vouet obviously recalled the dramatic position of the "Halberdier". 

Collections: Dal Pozzo, ??? Rome 
             Benedict Nicolson, London 

Exhibitions: "Artist in 17th Century Rome",
              Wildenstein, London, 1955 #82 and page XV  

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