The Duel After the Masquerade

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The Duel After the Masquerade
Jean-Léon Gérôme - The Duel After the Masquerade - Walters 3751.jpg
ArtistJean-Léon Gérôme
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions39.1 cm × 56.3 cm (15.4 in × 22.2 in)
LocationMusée Condé, Chantilly

The Duel After the Masquerade is a painting by the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, currently housed in the Musée Condé in Chantilly, France.


In 1859, William Thompson Walters purchased The Duel After the Masquerade at the National Academy of Design in New York for $2,500.[1]:17 The painting is a replica by Gérôme of his 1857 work Suite d'un bal masqué, painted for the duc d'Aumale. The original is part of the collection of the Musée Condé in Chantilly, France.[2] It was not unusual for artists to replicate their own paintings and other versions had also been painted for Prince Alexander of Russia and for the Ali Pacha. Walters asked the manager of the exhibition at the National Academy of Design for a letter of authentication from Gérôme and a comparison of the work he had purchased to the original.[1]:241

The original became famous almost overnight with the critics of the Salon speculating about Gerome's sources for the incident depicted in the painting.[3] In a poll taken in the winter of 1909–1910, Baltimoreans were asked to identify their fifty-five favorite works of art and The Duel After the Masquerade topped the list.[1]:183


The scene is set on a gray winter morning in the Bois de Boulogne, trees bare and snow covering the ground. A man dressed as a Pierrot has been mortally wounded in a duel and has collapsed into the arms of a Duc de Guise. A surgeon, dressed as a doge of Venice, tries to stop the flow of blood, while a Domino clutches his own head.

The survivor of the duel, dressed as an American Indian, walks away with his second, Harlequin, leaving behind his weapon and some feathers of his headdress, towards his carriage, shown waiting in the background.

The bizarreness of the scene in regard to the brightly colored costumes turns to pathos at the sight of blood on the Pierrot.[3]

Exhibition history[edit]

The Walters indicates that the work has been included in the following exhibitions:[4]

  • From Ingres to Gauguin: French Nineteenth Century Paintings Owned in Maryland. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1951.
  • The Taste of Maryland: Art Collecting in Maryland 1800–1934. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998–2001.
  • Triumph of French Painting: Masterpieces from Ingres to Matisse. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton. 2000–2002.
  • A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2002–2004.
  • Déjà Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix. 2007–2008.[5]
  • The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Musee D'Orsay, Paris; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. 2010–2011.[6]
  • From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014–2016.


  1. ^ a b c Johnston, William R. (1999). William and Henry Walters: the Reticent Collectors. Baltimore, Md. [u.a.]: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. pp. 17, 183, 241. ISBN 0801860407.
  2. ^ "Musée Condé". Suite d'un bal masqué. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b Ackerman, Gerald M. (2008). Jean-Léon Gérôme: His Life, His Work (English ed.). Paris: ACR Editions. pp. 49–50. ISBN 2867701015.
  4. ^ "The Duel After the Masquerade". The Walters Art Museum. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  5. ^ Mainardi, Patricia (Spring 2008). "Déjà Vu? Revealing Repetition in French Masterpieces". Reviews. Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. 7 (1). Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  6. ^ Weisberg, Gabriel P. (Autumn 2010). "The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904)". Reviews. Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. 9 (2). Retrieved 3 May 2017.

External links[edit]