The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Margaret at the Fountain
  • Ary Scheffer (1795 - 1858)
  • Margaret at the Fountain
  • France
  • 1858
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 160 x 101 cm
    Object size: 212 x 143 x 10 cm
  • Signature: 'Ary Scheffer 1858'
  • P284
  • West Gallery III
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The subject is taken from Goethe’s 'Faust I' (1808). Margaret, who has been seduced by Faust, has just learnt from Lisbeth that their unmarried friend Barbara ‘feeds two now when she eats and drinks’. Margaret reflects that once she would have condemned Barbara’s conduct, but now ‘the reproach and sin are mine’. Scheffer painted eight major compositions from 'Faust' between 1831 and 1858 of which the Wallace Collection's painting was the last. In 1858 the 4th Marquess of Hertford had described the painting as 'rather weak', but his son Sir Richard Wallace bought it in 1872. When it was owned by Issac Periere Periere set it in the panelling of his dining room in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris as the only picture in a grey room.