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Two figures dressed as Harlequin and Pierrot, accompanied by their seconds, prepare for a duel. Harlequin appears more confident than Pierrot. Although several duels of this kind took place in mid-nineteenth century France, this painting has been associated particularly with one fought by two politicians, Deluns-Montaud and Boitelle, in the Bois de Boulogne in the winter of 1856–1857. There is a larger version of The Wallace Collection’s picture (71.5 x 90.5 cm), undated, in a private collection, Houston, Texas. Three preparatory drawings are in the Musée national du château de Compiègne and a further seven were sold at Sotheby’s, Monaco, 20–21 June 1987 (828, 831 and 832).

The Wallace Collection



The Duel after the Masked Ball




oil on canvas


H 24.3 x W 32.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford by 1860; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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