Origins of Impressionism
Cover: KNIGHT, Daniel Ridgway Picking Flowers Oil on canvas
Exhibition Opening Saturday, November 9, 2019
224 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 90210 l 310.273.3377 l www.galeriemichael.com l firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Desk of Michael Schwartz The road to Impressionism passes through the small village south of Paris, Barbizon. Not just through Barbizon and the adjacent Forest of Fontainebleau, but importantly, from Paris. While Paris represented the past, it was also the catalyst for the future in several important ways. It was in Paris, after all, that the Englishman, John Constable, made such an enormous entrance into the city with his masterpiece, The Haywain (1821). In 1822, on one of his frequent visits to London, renowned art dealer John Arrowsmith saw Constable’s The Haywain and shortly after began negotiations to buy it in order to exhibit it in Paris. The painting caused a sensation when exhibited in the 1824 Paris Salon, and also earned Constable a gold medal from Charles X of France. What Constable brought to Paris was a new methodology of painting, which freed the artist from the rigors of the academic traditions and rules. Gone were the requirements to paint certain subjects in certain ways or face ostracization from the powerful, academic groups that control the art world, its guild and salons. Constable literally used a fresh approach—one that got him outside to see nature as nature in the honest manor nature was. He recorded moods and patterns of weather, including cloud cover, wind conditions and temperatures. He cataloged everything he saw meticulously, then created his paintings to capture a moment in time. This captivated the imaginations of the young rebellious artist community, who yearned to leave the large and dirty city in favor of the freedom of painting nature en plein air in the countryside. What they found nearby was the newly decommissioned royal hunting grounds in the Forest of Fontainebleau. Not only was the area easily accessible, but it had a village that served as their artist colony. Suddenly, they were in the open and could paint en plein air. With the advent of tubes to hold oil paints, they could just go into Fontainebleau with an easel, a canvas, brushes and tubes of paint. The artists would have mixed pigments on a daily basis in the nearby town of Chailly-en-Bière, carrying no more than five pigments in a pig bladder. They were embracing a transitionary moment. One that would never occur again. It was here that this group of revolutionary and groundbreaking new artists would find their vocabularies. Those who followed Constable’s lead into the outdoors soon blazed their own trails and with them, they blazed their names into the Art History books. Théodore Rousseau, Narcisse Virgilio Diaz de la Peña, Constant Troyon, Jules Dupré, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Jean-François Millet and Charles- Émile Jacque, just to name a few. Critically though, it was the Barbizon School that provided the foundation for the next generation—the Impressionists.
Indeed, through the guidance and mentorship of Diaz, Pierre-Auguste Renoir would hone his skills in the same forest as he moved into the new era. His first works were clearly Barbizon influenced, and his development into Impressionism can be readily witnessed through his artistic output, which ultimately became the foundation of Impressionism. Technologically, the manufacturers of tube paints kept up with the demands of the en plein air crowd with an increasingly vast array of new, colorful pigments. All of this allowed for artists to move past the technique of capturing a fugitive moment in time, and now they could capture their impression essence and stunning variances of light of the scenes that lay before them. And so, Im- pressionism was born. Join us now in Galerie Michael to travel on the road from Paris into Barbizon—and therefore be- yond. We have captured not only the Barbizon moments, but the captivating metamorphosis from academia to the first revolutionary paintings in open-air on through to Impressionism and then into the 20th Century with the Modern Masters, Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Chagall and Matisse. The Origins of Impressionism exhibition opens November 9th, 2019, and we are honored to host a lecture with one of the luminaries of plein air painting, Michel Schulman, scholar and world- recognized expert in 19th century art. He has written the catalogue raisonées for Edgar Degas, Théodore Rousseau, and Frédéric Bazille, and is currently writing the catalogue raisonnés for Constant Troyon and Georges Michel. We look forward to sharing this extraordinary collection with our patrons and friends, and hope you can join us to witness the transitory effects and ephemeral moments of those who followed John Constable on the Road to Impressionism yourself ! Michael Schwartz Owner & CEO of Galerie Michael
MILLET, Jean-François, 1814-1875 Laitière sortant de l'étable un seau à la main Charcoal enhanced with gouache on paper Initialed 'J.F.M' lower left 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. 914576
Origins of Impressionism The Barbizon School of painting is generally accepted as being the originator of Impressionism. Thus, Théodore Rousseau would be the father. However, before such a simple premise is accepted, it is essential to go back and look carefully in the art world’s rear-view mirror to find other roots, because others, who predated Rousseau, used similar artistic methods and nuances in utilizing various effects on landscape painting. The most outstanding who have such claims to building the foundational structure of the Barbizon School are William Turner in England and Georges Michel in France. Our attention should first focus on Turner, the master of light, who knew how to capture its essence as no one had before. It was between 1830 and 1837 that his work evolved radically and acquired a "luminous vision"—abandoning the realistic landscape, as can be seen in his “Fire of Parliament” (L’incendie du Parlement) of 1834, now hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In this work, Turner definitively abandoned the historical landscape that reigned as the ruler and master of thought and practice at the time. Alexandre Decamp, in 1834’s “Le Musée: revue du salon” (The Museum: magazine of the Salon,) says, "It is a routine that hardly develops intelligence. This may explain the lack of interest for the historical landscape and such defective execution." From then on, Turner’s painting included landscapes with radiant cloudiness—to the point of distorting and even removing its contours. Turner is the first to make the light “speak” in this way. One has to cross the English Channel into France to find l’Avant Garde of light. I named Georges Michel, the first, it seems, to paint out in the open, though the depiction of light perpetually tormented him. At the Louvre, he probably saw the first flashes of light from the Dutch painters, from whom he drew great inspiration, sometimes from identical subjects. It is not known whether the English landscapes, as seen in Paris’s 1824 exhibition of English painters, had any influence on Michel’s painting. Alfred Sensier, in his biography of Georges Michel, interviewed Michel’s second wife—albeit 30 years later. She made no reference to this possible influence. It is not known if Michel even went to this exhibition, but the fact remains that he turned away from his boring historical painting just as the other painters, who later changed the history of art, began to do. At the beginning of the movement, Georges Michel always accentuated his landscapes with a light which was both soft and virulent as it pierced the gray, rain-filled clouds. Michel was the master of painting outdoors. In France, he was the one who gave light an essential role. From that point on, all painters—including the impressionists, obviously—went looking for it while giving various forms, sometimes unexpected, to their paintings, whether they were rooted in Impressionism, Post-Impressionism (especially Belgian), Pointillism or even Fauvism. Light was the sole concern of artists everywhere. For example, they will go to the Creuse (in the center of France) and the Midi to author the most beautiful pages of art history. On their paintings, as with Turner’s, the contours of the landscape disappear, while Michel’s have the light and the landscape combine effortlessly.
One of the ironies of history is that Alfred Sensier was both the biographer of Georges Michel and of Théodore Rousseau. And so, the name of the painter who is considered to be at the origin of Impressionism comes to fore. Jean Bourret, the author of the 1972 book, “L'Ecole de Barbizon. The French landscape in the Nineteenth Century” wrote a chapter entitled, "The Sons of Light" dealing with the foundation of Impressionism. The paternity question will no doubt often return under the scrutiny and pens of art historians. “He [Sensier] saw Rousseau seeking his effects with obstinacy, such that sometimes the canvas lost its flight, became entangled and became more an optical laboratory exercise than a painting." We can’t find better words about Rousseau’s addiction to what was haunting him constantly. Théophile Thoré wrote in his Salon of 1844, “Rousseau shares . . . all the passions of nature." If no affiliation can really be found between Michel and Rousseau, it must be admitted that the unique quest for light and colors was in the scope of time. The challenge was there, certainly already questioning the classical and traditional teachings of instructional workshops. Through his paintings, such as those of Berri and Sologne in the center of France, Théodore Rousseau strove to get the same landscape in the morning as in the evening—both at sunrise and at sunset. Clearly, the open landscapes were suitable for this exercise and in Marais à la Souter- raine, both Rousseau and Dupré would paint—and get completely different pictures. On the other hand, Rousseau’s work was marked not only by an aesthetic, but also by a spiritual aspect. Rousseau’s painting reached the height of spirituality barely seen among other painters of his time. By almost always placing his tiny characters far away, he reminded the world of man’s place in the great movement of Nature (wildness). From these first attempts to capture and reproduce the light at different times of the day, the Impressionist painters drew new inspiration. At the time of Rousseau, only Diaz seemed to have looked for this light under the canopy of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Rousseau faced criticism, at times bitter, though others, like Théophile Gautier, admired his art from the dawn of Rousseau’s career. Did Rousseau’s reputation—and his controversial palette— reach the ears of the generation that found the source of the new era? Impressionism was ushered into its baptismal foundations. In Barbizon, Monet, Bazille and Renoir came to get their first inspirations. Many others followed in Moret-sur-Loing, Bourron- Marlotte and Grez-sur-Loing. In his “Aesthetic Curiosities-Salon of 1859”, Baudelaire wrote: "Few men have more sincerely enlivened the light and made it better." In the 14 stations of the Salon of 1859, Zacharie Astruc said, "Nobody like him [Th. Rousseau] has varied his visions and his formulas." It was Théodore Rousseau who showed the way to the next generation of Impressionists and who, in this way, had a profound impact on his time. Michel Schulman Member Chambre nationale des experts spécialisés Author of the catalogues raisonnés for Frédéric Bazille, Théodore Rousseau and Edgar Degas 4
MICHEL, Georges, 1763-1843 Personnage et son troupeau Oil on paper mounted to canvas Accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from Michel Rodrigue, Member of the Union Française des Experts. 20 x 24 in. 914426 Is Georges Michel the little-known giant in Art History? Deeply influ- enced by the Dutch paintings that he discovered in the Louvre, he copied Ruisdael and Hobbema, becoming the “Ruisdael of Montmartre”. Michel is characterized by his personality - the solitude he prefers, his honors, or even money. We know of him only the biography written by Sensier in 1873. He reports the words from Georges Michel’s second wife, thirty years after his death. That tells you there is a reason to relativize his laudatory remarks! Montmartre, with its hills and spinning windmills, became his place of choice and creation. This little hill, so close to Paris but still wild. But it is still the countryside? In “Les Misérables”, Victor Hugo starts to doubt of it. Michel ran around Montmartre with his friend Bruandet, sometimes with Demarne, drawing and painting always the same subjects: grey skies full of dark clouds and rain, muddy ravines, the mills with whirl- ing wings and the paths animated by all of this human activity. Mont- martre was becoming his horizon and he didn’t want to get away from this “mountain” that became his Everest. It’s around Paris, never far, that he painted his landscapes en plein air, using blue paper notebooks, to transpose them later in his workshop. Often, he used large sheets of paper to then apply to big wood panels. Back then, no one notices “the painter of windmills”. France is going through difficult period: the Revolution, the Terror, the Napoleonic wars. As a result, Salons are becoming scarce, as are gazettes and newspapers to promote them.
However, at the Salon of 1791, a critic ventures to write: “I do not com- ment anything about the landscapes, this is a style that we should not deal with!” Only Saint-Beuve and Théophile Gautier notice Georges Michel. We will remember this sentence from Alfred Sensier, his biographer: “Why did the author [Georges Michel] of all these abrupt sketches ruin a real talent and vocation as a great artist?” The answer is hidden in the artist himself. If we want to find, at all costs, a glory to Georges Michel, he didn’t seem to really want to access it. The question of the signature of his art is re- vealing of this temperament. “To live happily, live hidden,” they say, and Michel believed this per- sonally. “A painting must speak for itself ” he explained, reported by Sensier. This explains why his paintings are never signed. Which also makes the authentication more difficult. Solitary, perhaps a bit misanthropic, Georges Michel crosses through time. He is now recognized as an avant-garde painter, a great master of the landscape. The painter of eventful horizons has not, however, become Rembrandt nor Van Gogh. But no doubt he aspired to something else! To his painting and to keep his freedom.
Michel Schulman Member Chambre nationale des experts spécialisés
DUPRÉ, Jules, 1811-1889 La rivière, 1834 Oil on board Signed and dated lower left Provenance: H. Terry-Engell Gallery, London; Private Collection, France Literature: Marie Madeleine Aubrun, Jules Dupré 1811 - 1879, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 1974, N°52, p. 70, illustrated 10 3/4 x 9 1/8 in. 915101 Jules Dupré's landscapes are particularly reflective of atmosphere, espe- cially with regard to the study of skies, their moods and ever- changing cloud formations, as shown in the present early work, “La rivière” (The River). The broad, fluid treatment that he adopted, first under the influ- ence of Constable, became increasingly bolder with the use of impasto. (Impasto is a technique used in wherein paint is laid on an area of the surface in very thick layers, usually thick enough that the brush or knife strokes are visible. When dry, impasto provides texture, and the paint appears to be coming out of the canvas.) Jules Dupré was a landscape painter of the Barbizon School and a pio- neer of painting “en plein air.” He was a close friend and collaborator of Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) and was influenced by John Constable, RA (1776-1837). Dupré studied painting with J.M. Diebolt (1779-1825) and first exhib- ited in the Paris Salon in 1831, where his paintings were well received. He was invited to England by Lord Graves in 1834, and the influence of Constable and the English landscapists were reflected in his “Environ de Southampton (Angleterre)” (1835) exhibited with success at the 1835 Salon. It was admired by Eugène Delacroix and Honoré Daumier,
among others. After this trip, Dupré became an active traveler; he visited the French provinces frequently and spent long periods in Paris prepar- ing works for the annual Salon competitions. He met Rousseau in 1834 and his other friends including Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) and Jean- Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875). Dupré's success at the Salons brought him official recognition, and he soon opened an atelier. He also became a central figure in the Barbizon group, developing friendships with other painters and art dealers. In 1842, having grown frustrated by the Paris Salon and its practices in recent years, Dupré and his immediate circle of artist friends - Cabat, Huet, Isabey, Corot & Rousseau - signed a petition with the hopes of forcing changes in the jury system. In 1847, he was also part of a group which advocated an Independent Salon. After 1850, Dupré lived in the small town beside the River Oise, L'Isle Adam, making occasional visits to Paris and the Normandy coast. In 1852 he appeared in the Salon for the first time since 1839, but his only major exhibition after that was the Universal Exhibition of 1867. From the late 1860's Dupré frequented the Channel Coast more and more, and his finest late works are his seascapes.
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée du Louvre, Paris; • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; • Art Institute of Chicago; • Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; • National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; • State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; • Frick Collection, New York; • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
TROYON, Constant, 1810-1865 La traversée du gué
Pastel on paper Signed lower left 11 1/4 x 16 1/16 in. 915262
This rare pastel work on paper, “La traversée du gué” (Crossing the Ford), showcases Troyon's ability to excel in more than one medium. Executed in pastel, he masterfully uses soft yet intricate shading to convey a party crossing the river on an idyllic summer afternoon. A tremendously appealing and desirable work, “La traversée du gué” falls directly under the spell of Impressionism, which was to develop in the coming years. Ahead of its time, this work creates a bridge be- tween a rural, peasant lifestyle and the whimsical, dreamy landscapes of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. It was created “en plein air,” and is one of very few fully developed pastel paintings in Troyon’s oeu- vre. Brilliantly illustrated, it offers an ephemeral view into this genius animalier’s oeuvre. Virtually impossible to find outside of a museum collection, and a treasure for any collector. Constant Troyon began his career as a porcelain painter. By the late 1830s he turned his attention to landscape painting, and his first Paris Salon entries were views around Saint-Cloud and Sèvres, near the state porcelain works. These early paintings were characterized by bright colors based on his experience working with porcelain glazes. In 1843, Troyon became friends with Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) and Jules Dupré (1811-1889), and began to frequent the Forest of Fontainebleau, which would provide him with a new subject for his painting. In 1846, he was awarded a First Class Medal at the Salon. The decisive moment of Troyon's career came in 1847 during a visit to Holland, when he saw the work of Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) and Pau- lus Potter (1625-1654) for the first time. When he returned to France,
he concentrated on animal painting, and the Salon of 1849 saw his first entry devoted to an animal subject. From this point on he was a great success, both critically and financially, and his influence was felt in France, the Lowlands and Germany. Troyon became one of the first Barbizon artists to win overall accep- tance. Exhibitions of his works were held in London, Manchester, Brussels, Vienna, Antwerp and The Hague, among other locations. His paintings of animals, rooted in their natural surroundings, are charac- terized by a perfect balance of color, line and composition. Whether painting a cow in a pasture or a horse in a field, animal and nature co-exist in total harmony when they are recorded by Troyon's brush. When Troyon died in 1865, his reputation as one of the greatest animal painters of the 19th century was firmly established. Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée du Louvre, Paris; • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; • Hendrik Willem Mesdag National Museum, Hague, the Netherlands; • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; • Le Havre Museum, France; • Hermitage Museum, Leningrad; • National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; • National Gallery, Berlin, Germany
VEYRASSAT, Jules Jacques, 1828-1893 Les travaux des champs Oil on canvas Signed lower right 16 x 22 in. 915055
With expert use of the brush, Veyrassat has carefully depicted horses and fieldworkers with intricate detailing, conveying an idyllic day in rural France. Accurate and insightful, he is one of the most im- portant colorists of his day, capturing the nobility of peasant life. We are pleased to present this rare collection of Veyrassat’s works. One of France's most decorated painters of nature and landscape, Jules Jacques Veyrassat studied art in his native Paris. He exhibited his first paintings at the Paris Salon in 1848, and was later awarded Med- als in both 1866 and 1869.
The French government awarded him the prestigious Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 1878. Veyrassat has most often been associated with the famous Barbizon School, but it was not the forests of Barbizon that drew his attention; rather most of his art depicts the farming plains of Samois, a picturesque village on the Seine, documenting the life of the land in a clear and straightforward manner. His charming images of the harmonious relationship between man and nature were greatly sought after and earned the artist tremendous recognition during his lifetime.
VEYRASSAT, Jules Jacques, 1828-1893 Les moissons Oil on panel
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; • National Gallery, Washington, DC; • Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; • Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA;
Signed lower right 8 1/4 x 15 3/4 in. 915060
• Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon; • Musée des Augustins, Toulouse; • Harvard University Art Museums, MA
"I thought only of one thing, to account to myself for the laws of light and perspective. I did not attach any importance to what they found original, new and romantic in me, I sought the picture" —
As quoted in Barbizon days, Millet-Corot-Rousseau-Barye by Charles Sprague Smith, A. Wessels Company, New York.
ROUSSEAU, Théodore, 1812-1867 Vue panoramique, early 1830s Oil on canvas
How and why was he attracted to these subjects? We don’t know, but we do know that he doesn’t return to this subject until after 1834. A number of these paintings – usually works on paper – appeared on the art market mainly in the 1960s. Although Rousseau intends here to show a panoramic landscape, the perspective is quite different. Indeed, the village occupies an important place which structures the whole picture. The houses, with the entangle- ment of the roofs, represent a real architectural element. The juxtapo- sition of such a structured plan “confronted” to the horizon is unusual for Rousseau. Overlooking the village, the church discreetly marks its presence and it’s like you could almost see the bell in the bell tower. Well defined, the second plan extends itself between the village and the distant hills marked by a mill at the top. As he did for “La colline de Montmartre” (Musée du Louvre, Paris). By the light reflected in it, the stream is the main element of this part of the painting. Finally, we will notice the rather dark and “desert” hills that define the horizon and give it an enigmatic character. By the succession of these “horizons,” and especially of the hidden, almost sleepy village, Rousseau has created an intimate work. The fram- ing gives the painting an almost photographic appearance, as if it wants to guide our eyes towards this distance which is, in the end, not what the painting really intends to highlight. Michel Schulman Member Chambre nationale des experts spécialisés
Dated by expert Michel Schulman to the early 1830s, this small landscape, most likely located in Île-de-France, represents the same village and the same valley as a panoramic landscape acquired in 2003 by the National Gallery of Washington (inventory number 2003.40.1). The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Michel Schulman, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. 9 1/2 x 12 11/16 in. 915043 There are three versions of this Panoramic Landscape. The first one was; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon; Musée des Augustins, Toulouse; Harvard University Art Museums, MA acquired by the National Gallery, Washing- ton in 2003; the second that we present here; the third, which appeared recently, is part of a private French collection. All three versions were obviously executed at the same time. We know that at this time – 1829-1830 – Rousseau went to the Jura and Auvergne. It seems that these paintings represent a landscape in Burgundy that we inevitably cross to get to either one of the two locations. We come to this hypothesis, rather than a landscape of the Ile de France region. Another hypothesis not to be excluded: that of a Normandy landscape which can be recognized by these characteristic undulations, or valleys. A possible theory because Rousseau travelled to this region after his stay in Auvergne, in the years 1831-1833. For him, panoramic landscapes are the mark of this period. Although generally adept of vast horizons, Rousseau is distinguished, at this time, by a style in which detail is less important than the full picture.
ROUSSEAU, Théodore, 1812-1867 Bords de l’Oise, circa 1850 Oil on panel Signed lower left Provenance: Sale, A. Lange, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 2-3 April 1886, lot 10 as Paysage; Jacques Seligmann et Cie., Paris; Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris, 1890; George Ingraham Seney (1826-1893), New York, acquired from the above, 2 April 1891; Goupil & Co., New York, acquired from the above, 22 April 1892; Sale, Sotheby's Parke-Bernet, 6 October 1966, lot 49, as Paysage Literature: A. Braun, Choix des compositions peintes et dessinées par Théodore Rousseau, Mulhouse, 1874, no. 90230; M. Schulman, Théodore Rousseau, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1999, p. 222, no. 371, illustrated 10 5/8 x 13 5/8 in. 915007 Théodore Rousseau: the painter of wooded clearings and ponds in the Forest of Fontainebleau, romantic and peaceful landscapes of Berri, in the center of France where Georges Sand lived, is suddenly attracted by the landscapes of the Oise in 1850s, and its eponymous river. This new aspiration is not due to chance but caused by the encounters he makes with nature around Paris. Today urbanized, these places embod- ied the deep countryside. But at the time, even Auteuil, the Trocadero, Passy and Montmartre, which were not yet part of the commune of Paris, were "remote and pastoral regions." Farms were numerous, so much so that, in the suburbs of Paris, one could still find them at the end of the 1950s! Rousseau had already walked these surroundings. In the 1830s, had he not painted the rivers, the rushing torrents and the spillways of the forest of Compiègne north of the capital?
While settling in Barbizon, Rousseau established his workshop – now restored – and he aspires to see other landscapes than those of the Fontainebleau. If he continues to draw and paint the centuries-old oaks –“kings” of the forest – to penetrate the thickets and clearings like Diaz, he sometimes escapes, as here in the Oise. What does he aspire to? Obviously, north of Paris, to different landscapes. The horizons are larger than in Fontainebleau. But this doesn’t change what he will see and paint. There is also light, and on the banks of the Oise, it becomes different and its palette changes. The composition and tone of his paintings diverged. He painted “Bords de l'Oise” with pinks and blues that made him an unexpected, new Rousseau. With these glimpses of blue sky through the gray and threat- ening clouds, he plays with contrasts of light effects. But instead of opposing each other, they compliment. This is the expression of all the pictorial intelligence of Théodore Rousseau. Is the storm coming or going away? The sun has returned as seen in the sparkling reflection on the river. Then Rousseau, contrary to his habits, “animates” his painting. He paints the fishermen who just left their boats, whose sails are not yet set. This is not the only gesture - another sign of life is shown to us - the cottagers lurking on the left, as if to sleep there. Rousseau wants them discreet and quiet, but the smoke that escapes – that rushes toward the sky as if to reach the clouds – does not deceive us. Man is there. Almost always as if to mark his relationship with Mother Nature. In his commentary on the Salon of 1859, Beaudelaire said that “Few men have more sincerely loved the light and have made it better.” And, to finish, we will quote Zacharie Astruc who wrote in Les 14 stations du Salon de 1859, “Nobody like him [Théodore Rousseau] has varied his vision and his formulas.” All of Rousseau fits into these two formulations. Michel Schulman Member Chambre nationale des experts spécialisés 17
ROUSSEAU, Théodore, 1812-1867 Un Paysage á Fontainebleau Oil on canvas Signed lower right 15 x 18 in. 404501
Pierre-Étienne-Théodore Rousseau was born in Paris as the son of a tailor. He began to paint at the age of 14 and from the 1820s onwards favored to paint outdoors, directly from nature, or "en plein air," which was a novel approach at that time. Even during this early, formative period, Rousseau showed that he had already established a set of artistic goals and a style that was not to be influenced by any of his teachers, who primarily worked in the Neoclassical tradition. Rousseau based his style on extensive study of the 17th century Dutch landscape painters and the work of such English contemporaries as Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) and John Constable, RA (1776-1837). His early landscapes portrayed nature as a wild and undisciplined force, and gained the admiration of many of France's leading critics and fellow painters. Rousseau first visited the Fontainebleau area of France in 1833 and in the following decade, settled in the village of Barbizon, where he worked with a group of landscape painters including Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), Jules Dupré (1811-1889), Narcisse-Virgile Diaz de La Peña (1807-1876), and Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878). Their artistic goals were similar and they became known collectively as the "Barbizon School." Rousseau's landscapes offered fresh and unique images of rural France, showing his substantial talent as a colorist and ability to capture light. In 1831, Rousseau began to exhibit regularly at the Paris Salon. But in 1836 his "Descent of the Cattle" (circa 1834) was rejected by the jury, as were all his entries during the next seven years. Despite the Salon's disap- proval, his reputation and popularity continued to grow. Rousseau's
direct observation of nature made him an important figure in the de- velopment of landscape painting and a leader of the Barbizon School. In “Un Paysage á Fontainebleau” (A Landscape at Fontainebleau), Rousseau has captured an ephemeral moment – the last five minutes of the day where the sun is setting on the horizon, ushering in the night. Like Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot, Rousseau favored motifs of woodland views and landscapes, documenting nature in the Forest of Fontainebleau, while experimenting with light and darkness. After the Revolution of 1848, the Salon briefly relaxed its standards, and Rousseau finally received official recognition as a major figure in French landscape painting. His works were well represented in the Universal Exposition of 1855, and he became president of the fine arts jury for the Universal Exposition of 1867. Rousseau's paintings rep- resent a reaction against the calmly idealized landscapes of Neoclas- sicism. His small, highly textured brushstrokes prefaced those of the Impressionists in the coming years. Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée du Louvre, Paris; • Musée d'Orsay, Paris;
• Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; • Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; • Getty Museum, Los Angeles; • National Gallery, London, UK; • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA
LEROUX, Marie-Guillaume Charles, 1814-1895 Cueilleurs se reposant par une route de campagne, 1844 Oil on canvas Signed and dated lower left 49 1/2 x 76 3/4 in. 915229
The present large-scale work, “Cueilleurs se reposant par une route de campagne” (Gatherers Resting by a Country Road) is a magnificent example of Leroux's oeuvre, executed with superb attention to light and darkness. Marie-Guillaume Charles Leroux was a landscape painter of the Barbizon school, and is noted for his paintings of the Loire and its surroundings. Leroux was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and a friend of Théodore Rousseau. He won the second prize in the Prix de Rome in 1857, and consistently submitted works to the Paris Salon as well as the Exposition Universelle, beginning in 1834. For his 1857 submission, author Jules Verne is quoted in the Salon review, “We stopped with pleasure, in front of two paintings by M. Charles Leroux; The banks of the Loire at the time of the open sea is a work of undeniable talent; the effects of nature, scrupulously studied, are scrupulously rendered; this sky, where a storm is formed, is painted with boldness and truth... Mr. Leroux is one of our good landscapers, who produces enough, but does not produce enough.” Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • British Museum, London; • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes
LÉGAT, Léon, 1829-1891 La sieste en forêt Oil on canvas
Signed lower right 9 5/8 x 13 1/2 in. 915051
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • The Frick Collection, New York; • Musée du Luxembourg, Paris; • Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Uruguay; • National Museum of Antiquities, Netherlands; • Harvard University Art Museums, MA; • Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid “La sieste en forêt” (Napping in the forest) is a strong example of Légat's work, capturing a quiet moment on a French afternoon in the countryside.
Léon Légat was one of most important painters of his time, executing touching, realistic genre scenes that captured the harmony of nature with man in daily peasant life, en plein air. Légat exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1848, continuing to exhibit regu- larly from 1861 to 1891. He also exhibited at the Société des Artistes Français in 1879. His subject matter came from rural peasant life, often rendering mills, country inns, fairs, markets and taverns. Légat's compositions have been compared quite often to the Flem- ish style and themes of friendly, glowing market scenes, highlighted with personalities that are painted with a sense of urgency under a golden light.
Narcisse Diaz de la Peña
“No self-respecting painter ever should touch a brush if he has no model under his eyes.” —
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Forët au bord de la lande Oil on canvas Signed lower left Provenance: Collection Debanne, 1921; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 22 November 1976 Literature: Pierre and Roland Miquel, Narcisse Diaz de la Peña: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 2006, p. 221, no. 1419, catalogued & illustrated 21 3/8 x 28 3/4 in. 915223
Fontainebleau provided a range of pictorial motifs from ancient oaks and massive boulders to sandy pastures. Nature was depicted without the classical idealization or polished refinement of the French Acade- my at the time. For Diaz and the other artists of the Barbizon school, perhaps the most fundamental aspect of their practice was working “en plein air.” Not only did painting en plein air provide an opportunity to observe light effects directly, but it also provided an engagement with nature that would ensure the artistic independence of their vision. To viewers as well, a painting executed en plein air would have seemed to bring them one step closer to nature. A regular exhibitor at the Salon, in 1848 Diaz won a First Class Medal and in 1849 he received the Legion d'Honneur. Diaz reached the height of his fame in 1855 at the Exposition Universelle. Prior to that, he was elected a member of the Salon jury, winning many Medals. Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • Musée du Louvre, Paris;
Diaz de la Peña was a French painter of Spanish origins, first working as a porcelain painter, then training with the artist François Souchon. In 1835, Diaz began to explore the Fontainebleau forest of France, where he encountered other artists associated with the Barbizon school. Diaz specialized in views of the interior of the forest, with tur- bulent, stormy skies, seen here. His pictures were distinguished by his mastery of color and were compared by one critic to a “pile of jewels.” In “Forët au bord de la lande” (Forest on the Edge of the Moor), he explores a range of rich russets, ochres, greens and browns. Diaz's late landscapes are distinctive for their rich pigments and trans- lucent glazes. Diaz applies heavy impasto, his visible brushwork and attention to the landscape recalling 18th century precedents while simultaneously providing an influence on later Impressionist painters with his looser brushstrokes and freer style. Diaz's work as a colorist and his ability to render light merged with the founders of the Barbizon school, and he became known as one of the “Men of 1830.” Diaz, Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) and their friends had rediscovered nature together with Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) and Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878). Although the individual methods and concepts of the Barbizon painters differed considerably, they had in common a complete devotion to nature and a desire to be faithful to their observations. The overgrown Forest of
• Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 27
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Diane et un angelot, 1857 Oil on cradled panel Signed and dated lower right Bearing the artist's estate stamp lower left. The stamp at the lower left is abraded, but suggests “VENTE DIAZ” (Lugt, 672), 1877, the sale of the artist's estate including 213 paintings by the artist's hand, as well as other items from his collection. This work corresponds to No. 31, described as “Venus et l'Amour, 29 x 20 cm.” 12 x 8 1/2 in. 915064 Imbued with rich tones, “Diane et un angelot” (Diane and a Cherub) can be directly correlated to Impressionism, which followed in the coming years. Though a member of the Barbizon School of landscape painters, Diaz was stylistically different than his Barbizon colleagues. His penchant for melodramatic lighting contrasting with a sense of quiet communion remained parallel with the school, but Diaz never lost the Romantic leanings and trainings of his youth.
Diaz de la Peña, Narcisse-Virgile Diana, 1849 Oil on canvas Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Diane chasseresse, le depart, circa 1865 Oil on canvas Signed lower left Provenance: Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 29 March 1886, lot 41; Private Collection, France Literature:
Pierre and Roland Miquel, Narcisse Diaz de la Peña: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 2006, p. 467, no. 2847, catalogued & illustrated 21 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. 915219 “Diane chasseresse, le depart” (Diana the Huntress, the Departure) is a richly decorative image, filled with jeweled tones. Like the artist's other pictures composed in the spirit of “l'art pour l'art” (art for art's sake), the painting is designed to dazzle the eye and set the mind to dreaming. In impeccable condition, it is a true representation of Diaz's mastery of the medium, and is worthy of a museum collection. Diaz de la Peña painted this subject with very little variations at least seven times. They are dated between 1839 to 1869, with the largest and most detailed composition currently in the collection of the Metro- politan Museum of Art, New York. They are characterized by careful draughtsmanship and a sense of movement. Its classical subject and high-key palette reflect Diaz's interest in the works of Correggio, so much so that he was sometimes called the “Correggio of Fontainebleau.” Diana is a Roman goddess of the hunt and of nature, and has been one of the most popular themes in art history for centuries, depicted by masters such as Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt, among others.
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Dix bohémiennes descendant un chemin Oil on panel Signed lower left Provenance: Doll & Richards, Boston; Royal Chapin Taft (1823-1912), Providence; Sale, American Art Association, New York, 3 February 1921, lot 40, as ”The Bohemians;” Scott & Fowles Gallery, New York, acquired at the above sale; Sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 3 June 1971, lot 23, as ”The Descent of the Bohemians;” Acquired at the above sale by the previous owner Literature: Pierre and Roland Miquel, Narcisse Diaz de la Peña: Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint, Paris, 2006, p. 295, no. 1835, catalogued & illustrated 12 5/8 x 9 1/2 in.. 915009
“Dix bohémiennes descendant un chemin” (Ten Gypsies Going Down a Path) is a virtuoso demonstration of Diaz's mastery of two genres: landscape and figure painting. Like the artist's other pictures com- posed in the spirit of “l'art pour l'art” (art for art's sake), the painting is designed to dazzle the eye and set the mind to dreaming. In excellent condition, it is a true representation of Diaz's mastery of the medium, and his fascination with depicting colorful bohemian figures. Galerie Michael is thrilled to offer this rare and fully executed artwork, which is one of the most defining works of the Barbizon School of painting. Diaz was a French painter of Spanish origins. He first worked as a porcelain painter but shortly after started training with the artist François Souchon. He soon became the friend of some of the most famous exponents of the Barbizon school such as Honoré Daumier, Théodore Rousseau and Paul Huet. Diaz regularly exhibited landscapes and genre scenes at the Salon from 1831 to 1859. At the end of his life, he was admired by the new genera- tion of artists who were about to form the Impressionist movement.
Diaz de la Peña's brightly colored images of figures may have been prompted in part by the Rococo patterns he encountered at the be- ginning of his career. Following in the tradition of Eugène Delacroix, Diaz became “the principal colorist of his generation.” Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • Musée du Louvre, Paris; • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux; • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; • Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, UK; • Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Bohemians Going to a Fête, circa 1844 Oil on canvas Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Enchanted with bohemians and their culture, Diaz depicted these travelling groups many times throughout his career. Most notably, “Bohemians Going to a Fête,” circa 1844, currently in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, seen here.
DIAZ DE LA PEÑA, Narcisse Virgile, 1807-1876 Tendre Adolescence et papillons Oil on canvas Signed lower left Provenance: Marumo Collection, Paris (a leading Parisian gallery founded in 1880); B. Wemaere Collection, Versailles (lyrical abstract French painter 1913- 2010); Private Collection, France Exhibition history: Paris, Les Pavillon des Arts, Diaz, May - July 1968, no. 33 Literature: Pierre and Roland Miquel, Narcisse Diaz de la Peña: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 2006, p. 486, no. 2961, catalogued & illustrated 43 1/2 x 29 1/4 in. 915081
Imbued with rich, ornate tones, the large-scale “Tendre Adolescence et papillons” (Young Adolescents and Butterflies) work is an homage and bridge to Impressionism, which followed in the coming years. In im- peccable condition, it is a true representation of Diaz's mastery of the medium, while also capturing a tender and innocent moment of youth. Diaz was one of the foremost figures of first generation Barbizon artists. He, along with Jean-François Millet, Charles-François Daubigny, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Jules Dupré, Charles- Émile Jacque and Constant Troyon, established the Barbizon movement that drew artists to the Forest of Fontainebleau in the 19th century. The heart of the Barbizon School was direct study from nature, or “en plein air,” be it landscape or the human figure. Barbizon artists were the first to narrow the gap that had traditionally existed between direct sketching and finished studio pictures.
Symphonic and ethereal, “Tendre Adolescence et papillons” show- cases the effects of light that are possible in this medium. Though a member of the Barbizon School of landscape painters, Diaz was stylistically different than his Barbizon colleagues. His penchant for melodramatic lighting contrasting with a sense of quiet commu- nion remained parallel with the school, but Diaz never lost the Ro- mantic leanings of his youth. He continued to paint figurative scenes, often featuring nymphs and children. This varied subject matter as well as his magnificent use of color set him apart from his contempo- raries. Like the artist's other pictures composed in the spirit of “l'art pour l'art” (art for art's sake), the painting is designed to dazzle the eye and set the mind to dreaming.
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Musée d'Orsay, Paris; • Musée du Louvre, Paris; • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux; • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; • Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, UK; • Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; • National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; • Victoria and Albert Museum, London
BONHEUR, Auguste, 1824-1884 Berger conduisant son troupeau, 1861 Oil on canvas Signed and dated lower left Provenance: Collection of Madame Baroness N. de Rothschild; Private Collection, France 27 1/4 x 40 in. 915102 Was the gene familial? It seems that the answer is obvious because the whole Bon- heur family were artists and painters, a trait passed down by their father Raymond Bon- heur, himself an artist. The torch was carried by the elder Rosa, who acquired an international reputation and was even the first woman to receive the Legion of Honor by Empress Eugenie, a national dis- tinction instituted by Napoleon I. The trait of painting also affected other members of the family, including Rosa’s younger brother, Auguste. Auguste Bonheur also made his way and participated in several Salons which, at the time, was a prominent sign of recognition. He was also decorated with the Legion of Honor. Did Auguste also have the trait of landscape and animal painting like Rosa, his older sister? It was certainly a family passion, but it was also in the era of the time as evidenced by a large number of animal painters: Constant Troyon, Raymond Brascassat, van Marcke, Van Lumen and of course Rosa Bonheur, to name just a few.
Many themes were retained and interpreted by the animal artists of the time: oxen, horses, goats, turkeys, sheep, bulls, foxes and cows. Others, more rarely, like Barye, Delacroix and Gericault, represented lions, tigers and panthers. Here, the painting of Auguste Bonheur cannot be more of a pastoral and farmer style. Around this small pond, a flock, mostly sheep, is kept by a farmer and his dog. A cow is drinking, and others arrive peacefully from the top of the promontory. We cannot find a more classical treatment and appreciated subject at this time. According to Katherine Brault, current owner of the family castle of Rosa Bonheur, “Auguste Bonheur is certainly an animal painter but also a landscape painter. For him, the landscape counts as much, if not more, than the animal world that it directs.” Michel Schulman Member Chambre nationale des experts spécialisés.
DUPRÉ, Léon-Victor, 1816-1879 Paysage de fleuve de Barbizon Oil on canvas
Signed lower right 19 3/8 x 25 5/8 in. 915202
Léon-Victor Dupré was the younger brother of acclaimed artist and central member of the Barbizon School, Jules Dupré (1811-1889), who began his artistic career in his father's porcelain factory, learning the exacting skills involved in the painting of that medium. These skills greatly increased his technique for minute and intricate detail. Dupré's canvases are seldom very large, and he would introduce charm- ing and realistic people and animals into his compositions, usually quite small in relation to the grand, luminous skies of which he was fond. However, Dupré never sacrificed detail in sky, land or figures, and the reflective qualities of water are never more delicately played against these elements than in one of his small landscapes. “Paysage de fleuve de Barbizon” (Barbizon River Landscape) is a perfect example of these skills, beautifully capturing Dupré's proficiency of the medium. Dupré was awarded several Medals in the Salons during a long and prolific career. He was dedicated to the “en plein-air” philosophy but, like his brother, refined many of his best compositions in the studio. His favored scenes were those of Normandy, Aix-en-Provence and L'Isle-Adam, France. Museum collections featuring works by this artist include: • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; • Hermitage Museum, Leningrad;
• Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France; • Bowes Museum, Durham County, UK; • Kroller-Muller National Museum, The Netherlands; • Princeton University Art Museum, NJ; • Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, MI
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