Jean Antoine Constantin dit Constantin d’Aix
Marseille, 1756 – Aix en Provence, 1844
Two monks in the countryside
Pen and black ink.
273 x 400 mm – 10 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.
Number 205 top left.
Originally from Marseille, Constantin spent his entire career in Aix. Sent to perfect his training in Rome by his patron, Mr. Perron, he tried it first in painting, which he eventually gave up in order to devote himself to the drawing of landscape. Severe fevers interrupted his Roman stay after barely three years. Back in Aix, he practiced painting and drawing of landscape relentlessly. Appointed director of the drawing school of Aix-en-Provence in 1787, he was the professor of François-Marius Granet and of Auguste de Forbin but the Revolution abolished his post. Professor at the Digne school during the Empire, he returned to Aix in 1813 where he remained permanently. Granet and Forbin supported him all his life, making him deliver the gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1817, the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1833, and a lifetime pension. Granet, who had great admiration for him, would have said of him speaking to Forbin: « This one will always be the master. We are not worthy of untying the cords of its shoes » (see A. Alauzen, Painting in Provence, Marseille, 1987, p. 181 ).
Admired by Provencal families, it is considered to be the « father of Provençal painting ». It indeed helped to shape a taste for the landscape in this region, but also more broadly, through its students, many of whom had larger careers than their own.
Condition report: Good general condition