Thursday Art Day ALFRED DE DREUX revisited

with 4 Comments

ALFRED DE DREUX (1810 – PARIS – 1860 – PARIS )



Arabian horse

I thought it was about time I shared a Thursday is Art-Day post. This Thursday I’m re-featuring one my favourite artists, the extraordinary

ALFRED DE DREUX (1810 – PARIS – 1860 – PARIS )

The Pashas Pride by Alfred de Dreux

The Pashas Pride

When I lose myself in the art of Alfred De Dreux I immediately notice that the horses represent exactly what my mind’s eye adores about the Arabian horse. The horses I LOVE to write about, a marvellously classic example of a purebred Arabian horse. But how do you define classic?

For me personally it’s partly balance, beauty and the combination of a defined musculature and respiratory system. De Dreux displays the Arabian’s sturdiness, deep girth, their ample hindquarters, their tail carriage, athleticism and sturdiness plus a pretty good dose of superior beauty.



In ‘The Mounts of Abd El Kader’ (below) De Dreux also shows the relationship and empathy for, and between the groom and the horses.

alfred-de-dreaux-The mounts of Abd El Kader

The mounts of Abd El Kader

De Dreux’s artwork brings to mind the words written by Homer Davenport –

“He is a very perfect animal; he is not large here and small there. There is a balance and harmony throughout his frame not seen in any other horse. He is the quintessence of all good qualities in a compact form.”


Alfred-de-dreaux -Etalon Arabe

Etalon Arabe

About ALFRED DE DREUX (1810 – PARIS – 1860 – PARIS )

A fashionable horse painter for over thirty years, Alfred de Dreux is renowned for the romantic, glamorous portrayal of his subjects and his spirited rendering of the horse, which reflect his continental training and background. De Dreux was born in France, the son of an architect. He first studied under Leon Cogniet and then entered the atelier of Eugene Isabey. Throughout his career, however,de Dreux’s work was greatly influenced by Theodore Gericault, who was a close friend of his uncle.


Nubian horseman at a Gallop

In 1831, de Dreux exhibited Interieur d’Ecurie at the Paris Salon which won him immediate fame. From 1840, de Dreux began his celebrated series of portraits of horses from the famous stables of the duc d’Orleans.

Alfred-de-Dreux skewbald stallion

Skewbald Stallion

Following the Revolution in 1848, the French royal family emigrated to England where de Dreux frequently visited them, painting many equestrian portraits of the exiled Emperor Napoleon III and his sons.


Stable companions with greyhound

He returned to France and was commissioned to paint a portrait of Napoleon III in 1859 (Musee de l’Armee, Paris).

Alfred-de-dreaux-a greyarabstalliongalloping with dogs

Grey Arab stallion galloping with dogs

A dispute arose over this equestrian portrait and in March 1860 de Dreux was killed in a duel by Comte Fleury, Napoleon’s principal aide-de-camp.


Cavalier nubens

The work of Alfred de Dreux is represented in the Louvre, Paris, the Musee Camondo, Paris and museums in Bordeaux, Dijon and Chantilly.


Amazone en foret

Buy Carmel Rowley’s books online at

Read about Homer Davenport and his interesting life here

4 Responses

  1. judith forbis
    | Reply

    Hello Carmel,

    I have enjoyed several articles that were in your “add to circles” on Google posts. I hope you are well and enjoying your wonderful horses “down under.” It was such a joy to judge the shows in Australia and I shall always remember my trips there fondly.

    With best wishes,
    Judith Forbis

    • Carmel
      | Reply

      Dear Judith,
      What a wonderful way to begin my day. Thank you for taking to time to comment. I remember your visit to us here in Toowoomba, Queensland in our tiny front room in front of the open fire with enormous pleasure.
      We are no longer breeding (we decided 40 years was enough though we still own a couple of mares). We now enjoy watching the owners of the horses we have bred fulfill their own dreams. It’s now time for Don and I to have time together without the responsibility of horses. I found writing some years ago and seem to be able to “spin a yarn” as the Aussies say. I combine the desirable and not so desirable issues within the Arabian breed into a mystery or a family sage or even more recently a murder mystery.
      I also have very happy memories of your visits to Australia and I cannot close without saying your books have always been a helpful and important source of reference for me not only when we were breeding but even now as a writer.
      Again my sincere thanks and sending you my kindest regards.

      Carmel Rowley

  2. Polly J. Knoll
    | Reply

    ..Such gorgeous portraits, and what a pleasure to see so many of them reproduced here. And to think that artists did not know the exact placement of the feet when the horse was running or trotting until Leland Standford, for one, took rapid, consecutive portraits to show the entire sequence. Running or trotting horses used to be shown with all feet off the ground, such as in the painting of the grey Arabian (ears pinned back) with front legs forward, and rear legs out behind. It’s difficult to realize that DeDreux was killed in a duel! What a waste! DeDreux’s lighting of musculature and background was unforgettable.

    • Carmel
      | Reply

      Dear Polly,
      I’m incredibly thrilled you took the time to comment and a huge thank you for the added information readers will enjoy your comment. For me it’s a favourite pastime to relax and almost step inside De Dreux’s paintings. Even now new ones I haven’t seen before pop up occasionally online. Yes, I wonder at the incredible work he would have produced had he lived to old age.
      I did meet you once Polly at the Egyptian Event, far too long ago for you to remember either 1994 or 1997 and I still have and treasure your glorious brochure of photograph portraits that you graciously signed for me. A highlight at the time.
      Lovely again of you to share your knowledge.
      Always with kindest regards

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