Tiger on Alert by Eugene Delacroix

Tiger on Alert by Eugene Delacroix. 1850. Galerie Perrin, Paris

Winter Antiques Show 2022

A gray day on Madison Avenue in late March found me returning from a sudden trip to New Mexico. A preview of the Winter Antiques Show found me scheduled to meet a friend, David D’Arcy precisely, whom I hadn’t seen in person for two years thereabouts.

I went looking for David on floor six and straightaway found a Delacroix Tiger on Alert, from Galerie Perrin. Delacroix: The Late Work was a 1998-1999 exhibition that opened at Paris’ Grand Palais before traveling to the Philadelphia Art Museum. In a rainy April 1998, the Philadelphia Art Museum hosted a press preview for journalists (where I met David) in Paris timed with the Grand Palais show opening. Curated by Joe Rishel, the show dealt largely (bad pun) with Delacroix and the mythos of suffering.

There was something slightly jarring about being inside the former Barney’s flagship department store, and not only the periodic signage of the past (a palimpsest materialized.) One could speak easily again about which fairs had been worthwhile for dealers. One could gossip a little about which paintings were in demand by unnamed museums, specifically a Bolivian-Peruvian painting showing colonizers training arrows on boldly feathered Inca warriors.

Because I love jewelry and love writing about it, there was indeed jewelry. Georgian-era paste jewelry every bit as elaborate as the real thing, replete in one case with its original box. If it sounds fusty, it wasn’t. It was fun.

Look at the galleries. I’ll have more to add later.

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