Jean Achille Bénouville
Paris 1815 – 1891
Charcoal on blue/grey paper. Numberings on the verso.
215 x 445 mm – 8 7/16 x 17 1/2 in.
Provenance : Studio stamps Lugt 228 B on the recto, lower left, and Lugt 228a (numbered 138), on the verso; probably in the studio sale, Paris, 16 Januray 1901 (expert G. Petit).
Jean Achille Bénouville was trained in Paris first under Léon Cogniet and then Édouard Picot, and traveled to Italy on several occasions even before winning the Rome Prize. In 1843-1844 he met Corot in Rome and worked with him. In 1845, while his brother Léon won the first prize for history painting, his Ulysses and Nausicaa earned him the Grand prize for historical landscape. He left for the regulation four years of study in Rome, where he remained in reality for 25 years. He continued, all the same, to send works frequently to the Salon and to visit France. Only in 1871 did he definitely return to Paris, three years before the first Impressionist exhibition.
Bénouville’s extended stay in the Eternal City had kept him apart from the innovations in landscape painting, especially the Realism of Courbet and the Barbizon School. He continued to promote a classical tradition enriched with different influences assimilated in Rome, which has led to Marie-Madeleine Aubrun writing that “if there is one artist who illustrates, undeniably and in a seductive manner, the continuity of classical landscape until the stampede of the Impressionists, it is the independent painter Jean- Achille Bénouville” (Marie-Madeleine Aubrun, Achille Bénouville 1815-1891, 1986, p. 46).
Condition report – The edges irregularly cut and slightly faded ; a small crease on the lower right corner ; three pieces of tape on the verso.