Lot 1
  • 1

Gabriel Loppé

Estimate
25,000 - 35,000 USD
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Description

  • Gabriel Loppé
  • Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Mont Blanc
  • signed G. Loppé and dated 1890 (lower right); inscribed Sur le col du Géant/ Soleil levant sur le Mont Blanc / Les nuages attirés par la chaleur montent/ du fond de la vallée de Courmayeur sur les/ cimes. -Italie- (on a label on the stretcher)
  • oil on canvas
  • 19 5/8 by 14 3/8 in.
  • 49.8 by 36.5 cm

Provenance

Private Collection, New York
Thence by descent

Catalogue Note

The Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (seen at the far left of the present work), together with its higher neighbor the Aiguille Blanche de Peuterey (seen to its right), form part of the Peuterey ridge leading to the summit of Mont Blanc. A legendary peak not scaled until the 1930s, it remains one of the most imposing routes in the Alps.

Gabriel Loppé was a French painter, photographer and mountaineer, making over forty ascents of Mont Blanc during his career. At the age of twenty-one, Loppé climbed a small mountain in the Languedoc, found a group of painters sketching on the summit en plein air, and found his passion. Largely self-taught, Loppé was among the first painters to capture glaciers at such high altitudes, and found success through exhibitions in London and Paris. His photograph of lightning striking the Eiffel Tower (1902) is in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay.

In Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, Mont Blanc
Loppé's extraordinary skill as a draftsman and colorist is made clear. His chromatic hues of pink and violet, black and blue convey the sharp angularity of the rock face in contrast to the rising clouds and untouched blanket of snow. Bathed in the rose light of dawn, this vision of heavenly splendor is Loppé's reward, and ours, for what must have been a grueling ascent.
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