Les honneurs du pied
signed and dated 'R Goubie 1872' (lower right)
oil on canvas
2934 x 4312 in. (75.6 x 110.5 cm.)
The artist.
with Goupil et Cie., Paris, acquired directly from the above, 20 March 1872.
James H. Stebbins, Paris and New York, acquired directly from the above, 20 March 1872.
His sale; American Art Association, New York, 12 February 1889, no. 28, as The Honors of the Foot.
Collis P. Huntington (1821-1900), New York, acquired at the above sale.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gifted by the above, 1900.
Their sale; Christie's, New York, 25 April 2016, lot 82.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
P. Mantz, 'Salon de 1872,' Gazette des beaux-arts, July 1872, p. 50.
P. de Saint-Victor, 'Paysages et animaux,' L'Artiste, June 1872, p. 261.
E. Strahan, The Art Treasures of America, Philadelphia, 1880, vol. 1, pp. 102, 106, illustrated, and as The Honors of the Foot on p. 106.
'The Stebbins Collection, all the pictures disposed of last evening,' The New York Times, 13 February 1889, p. 5, as The Honors of the Foot.
C. Sterling and M. M. Salinger, French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Volume 2, XIX Century, New York, 1966, pp. 198–99, illustrated, as The Prize for the Hunt.
Paris, Salon, May 1872, no. 728.
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Lot Essay

Presenting the ‘honors of the foot’ is a hunting custom with its roots in the medieval chivalric code. The ceremony where meat from a felled stag was distributed among the various people who participated in and facilitated the hunt was an important part of the relationship between the lord who hosted it and his vassals. Giving the right front foreleg of the stag as a gift to honor a particular lady evolved from this same ceremony, as well as from the desire of medieval aristocracy to imitate the heroes of chivalric romance, whose main pastimes were courtly love, arms, and the hunt. The presentation of the foot, which served as a gesture of this courtly love, involved flaying the skin from the leg of the stag and braiding it down to where the bone of the foot began. This whole trophy was then presented in the field to a lady who had been preselected to receive the honor.

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