Picnic in the Bois de Boulogne attributed to Alfred De Dreux


Attributed to Alfred De Dreux (French, 1810-1860)

As a youth, Alfred De Dreux was taken by his uncle, the painter Pierre-Joseph Dedreux-Dorcy, on frequent visits to the studio of his friend Théodore Géricault. The important and formative influence of Géricault on the young De Dreux can be seen not only in the Romantic nature of his early paintings, such as the Nègre à cheval in the Vaudoyer collection, but also his lifelong fascination with equestrian subjects. De Dreux reached the height of his fashionable success during the reigns of Louis-Philippe and Napoleon III, and even won a commission from Queen Victoria, whom he painted riding in Windsor Park alongside the French King. (He also met Victoria’s favourite painter, Sir Edwin Landseer, who inspired him to paint dogs.) His fame was further enhanced by the lithographs* after his works which were published in France, Germany, England and America.
Following the abdication of Louis-Philippe in 1848, De Dreux accompanied him into exile in England. He eventually returned to France, but visited London often in later years. He received several commissions from members of the English aristocracy, for whom his paintings reflected their passion for horses, hounds and hunting.

Oil on canvas

23 1/2 x 28 1/4in