Thrilled with the recognition of their favorite, a well-dressed lady uses the steadfast support of her gentleman companion to brace herself as she waves her greeting at her intended targets. The boys and young men below are engaging in the highly unusual sport of water-borne jousting, undoubtably part of an Arthurian Festival or Collegiate event. The French took to the legend of the Boy King who led the first truly Untied Kingdom from Camelot with every bit as much fever as the Brits, and the fashions have a bit more Parisian feel than absolutely British.
A charming and complete work, the man uses a spyglass telescope to watch the competitors through the balustrade fence. Both camps on each bank cheer their favorite champions, with the suggestion of the medieval pageantry of heraldry in the flags. The object: to knock the foremost “pole-bearer” off the opposing bow into the water, winning the joust. Again, the red-white & blue pennant colorations give no definitive identifiers as to the urban capital hosting the event.
The “genre scene” has made strong movement in recent years in the worlds of fine art. Narratives of humans from all walks of life are enjoyed for the depictions of yesterday with the reminiscent charm each inspires. Here, we may gather a sense of the pride and hope as the woman waves her handkerchief at her young champion, and the enjoyment of the enthusiastic supporter in each camp. A complete composition which succeeds in drawing a person’s interest deeper into the scene.
“A remnant of the original artist’s label survives verso with much of its title intact.”