French School, beginning of the 19th century
View of a village, trees against a wall
Oil on paper.
247 x 357 mm – 9 3/4 x 14 1/16 in.
This anonymous oil on paper representing the view of a village taken from above demonstrates, as does its pendant View of a Courtyard, its author’s special sensibility. The simple volumes, the absence of anecdotal details or narrative information give the work a silent atmosphere, which is magnified by the vast expanse of serene sky and the green plain extending to the background hills.
The calm and simplicity of the composition and the author’s interest in representing groups of houses or vegetation recall the works executed by Jean Victor Bertin (1767 – 1842) at the very beginning of the 19th century, particularly his many versions of View of the entrance of the Park of Saint Cloud. But these two oils on paper do not possess Bertin’s characteristic touch, which describes in detail every foliage and roof tiles while simplifying volumes. Here the artist is rather aiming at mere simplicity.
Oil on paper.
247 x 335 mm – 9 3/4 x 13 3/16 in.
Showing a house courtyard with great simplicity, this oil on paper, as its pendant View of a village, trees against a wall, is anonymous. Maybe the works of an amateur or a young artist, this oil on paper shows undeniable talent and its naïve character, on the verge of clumsiness, does not lessen his ability to convey the serene atmosphere of the house, the beautiful light reflected by the clear walls, the courtyard vegetation, trees, bushes, grass. The simplification of volumes and quick, even succinct, treatment of details don’t overshadow the artist’s sensibility, which is visible through many little things such as the choice of the viewpoint, the door left ajar on the fields in the background, the small window behind the rose bush, or in its pendant, the long wall with planted trees. The atmosphere is close to that of paintings by Jean Victor Bertin (1767 – 1842). Unlike Bertin, however, the artist here does not try to render very small details such as rooftiles or foliage.
Condition report – Very good condition, irregular edges. Pinholes at 4 corners.