Bouguereau often painted reductions of his popular paintings, either for reproduction (safer to send to the engravers) or sales to collectors on smaller budgets. The reductions were painted by the Master, his assistants, or both. Quite often the reductions slightly differ from the original. Le Sommeil is a more drastic example.
|Le Sommeil, 1864 oil on canvas 153.7 cm x 119.4 cm ~ William-Adolphe Bouguereau|
(tear sheet scan)
|William-Adolphe Bouguereau Le Sommeil, 1866 oil on canvas 61.6 by 51.4 cm|
The reduction has an interesting provenance entry: Theo van Gogh, 1866 (acquired from Goupil's Amsterdam branch). Theo would have only been 9 years old in 1866! Was the painting actually purchased by Vincent and Theo's father, Theodorus van Gogh?
…and from the same Goupil** branch at which Vincent would later work ~
In July 1869, his uncle Cent helped him obtain a position with the art dealer Goupil & Cie in The Hague. After his training, in June 1873, Goupil transferred him to London, where he lodged at 87 Hackford Road, Brixton, and worked at Messrs. Goupil & Co., 17 Southampton Street. This was a happy time for Vincent; he was successful at work and was, at 20, earning more than his father. Theo's wife later remarked that this was the happiest year of Vincent's life. He fell in love with his landlady's daughter, Eugénie Loyer, but when he finally confessed his feelings to her, she rejected him, saying that she was secretly engaged to a former lodger. He became increasingly isolated and fervent about religion; his father and uncle arranged for him to be transferred to Paris, where he became resentful at how art was treated as a commodity, a fact apparent to customers. On 1 April 1876, Goupil terminated his employment.
**Adolphe Goupil, father-in-law of Jean-Léon Gérôme