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Viewing Post from: Gurney Journey
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Creator of "Dinotopia"! This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
1. The Missing Lecomte

I have a question for the Group Mind. Does anyone know what became of this painting? 

What I know so far is that it was painted by the French orientalist Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ and was exhibited at the Salon of 1872.

The title of the painting is "Les Porteurs de Mauvaises Nouvelles," translated as “Bearers of Ill Tidings.” It has also been called ""The Slaying of the Unpropitious Messengers." 

The scene is set in Egypt at night. It is based on an episode from Le Roman de la momie by Théophile Gautier. A 1908 gallery guide from the Musée du Luxembourg describes the scene this way: "This Pharoah, defiant of fate, has slain the messengers of misfortune; his autocratic mind cannot acknowledge failure of his plans. His hopes are all fixed on the distant horizon towards which he looks so intently."

I wonder if the original is lost or in a private collection, because it doesn't seem to show up on the internet in anything but old reproductions. 

Craig Elliott has pointed out that Frank Frazetta was inspired by one of the fallen figures when he painted "Conan the Destroyer."

Frazetta would have learned about such academic painters from his friend Roy Krenkel, who was an ardent collector at a time when such reproductions were hard to find. 

21 Comments on The Missing Lecomte, last added: 5/16/2012
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