Bohemian rock crystal
Given by Jenny le Guillou to Louise Rang-Babut, 1863
Gift of M. et Mme Lancelin, 2004
Delacroix purchased this goblet in July 1850 during his trip to the thermal spa of Ems. The sides of the glass are divided into three cartouches, two of which are etched with scenes of Germanic châteaux; the glassmakers obtained the dark red color using metal oxides from Saxony ore.
At Delacroix’s death, Jenny Le Guillou gave the goblet to Louise Rang-Babut (1805-1884), a friend and student of the painter; it remained in the family until it entered the museum.
Delacroix traveled to the thermal spa of Ems in July 1850 after first stopping in Belgium. On 13 July, he noted in his Journal: "Took my first glass of water." He left the town on 4 August. During these two weeks, the artist walked a great deal; drew, and sketched all sorts of thoughts in his notebook; borrowed books; and worked on the article about Mme Cavé’s work, Le Dessin sans maître.
It was during this short stay that he bought this cut glass, whose dark red color is produced by the glassmakers using the metal oxides of Saxony ore. The sides of the glass are divided into three square cartouches, each of which is topped with an arched motif. Two of them feature fine etchings of German châteaux: "Schloss Baden," the residence of the Baden dukes behind its ramparts and two towers topped with characteristic onion-shaped domes; and "Scholls Ebertsein," featuring ancient buildings that look like large farms in the midst of lime trees. The third cartouche is not etched. Delicately etched curves and countercurves of leafy arabesque lines wind in braids from the neck, between the cartouches and toward the base.
At Delacroix’s death, Jenny Le Guillou gave the goblet to Louise Babut in memory of the painter, with a glovebox and a tasseled hat made by George Sand (letter from Jenny le Guillou to Louise Rang Babut, 14 June 1864).
Henriette Bessis, "Etudes et documents : l’inventaire après décès d’Eugène Delacroix" in Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art français, 1969, n°157 p. 206.
Catherine Adam-Sigas, "Les acquisitions du musée en 2003-2004", in Bulletin de la Société des Amis du musée Eugène Delacroix, n°3, 2005, p.42.