Collection Online

The confession of the Giaour
(Confession du Giaour)
(c. 1825-1840)

oil on canvas
23.8 × 32.2 cm
inscribed in brown paint u.l.: Eug Delacroix.
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1910
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Collection of Charles Guasco (1842–1911?), Paris, before 1900; sale, Tableaux modernes, pastels, aquarelles, dessins; composant la collection de M. Charles Guasco, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 11 June 1900, no. 24, as Colombe, Monastère de St Juste; collection of François Thiebault-Sisson (1856–1936), until 1907; Thiebault-Sisson sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 23 November 1907, no. 32; with F and J Tempelaire (dealer), Paris, by 1910; from where purchased, on the advice of Frank Gibson, for the Felton Bequest, 1910.

Eugène Delacroix’s diary records that he first read Lord Byron’s The Giaour: A Fragment of a Turkish Tale (1813) in May 1824. Byron’s tragic text, with its entwined themes of love, violence, death and madness, provided the inspiration for a number of Delacroix’s paintings in the 1820s and 1830s. In Byron’s tale the Giaour – a pejorative term, derived from Turkish, for non-Muslims – kills the Turk Hassan in order to avenge the death of the slave girl Leila.


Left reverse of lining canvas
TABLEAUX MODERNES/F&J TEMPELAERE/36.Rue Laffitte.36/PARIS Despite being characteristic of a colourman stencil it is likely this mark represents another activity by this company, either as dealer/agent or restorer, appearing on the lining canvas.
Ink stencil


The confession of the Giaour (c. 1825-1840)
Unknown - 19th century

timber, composition, gold leaf


Essentially Louis XIV in style there are a number of frames in the collection with this form. See for example Francis Tattegrain The convalescent (Convalescente) (1884), John Singer Sargent, Hospital at Grenada 1912 (1337-3), which retains the makers label of C. M. May and Gustave Dore Little Red Riding Hood (Le Chaperon rouge) c.1862. 
Here the frame is in a reduced format and could date to the acquisition of the painting in 1910.

A variety of makers produced frames like this through the second half of the nineteenth century.