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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.
oil on canvas
H 24.3 x W 32.5 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford by 1860; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897