In August 1884, Sprague Pearce purchased a farm in Auvers-sur-Oise, a town some twenty miles northwest of Paris on the banks of the Oise river. While many other artists had worked in the area, including Charles-François Daubigny, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Paul Cézanne, Honoré Daumier, and Camille Pissarro (in nearby Pontoise), this relocation more closely aligned Sprague Pearce with his French naturalist contemporaries. As Mary Lublin writes, "the northeastern area of France was especially fertile for naturalists, with each artist devoted to his own coin de terre. Jules Breton was identified with Courrières… Bastien-Lepage with Damvilliers… Dagnan-Bouveret worked in the Franche-Comté… [and] in Auvers, Pearce began his examination of the ways of nature in earnest" (A Rare Elegance: The Paintings of Charles Sprague Pearce, New York, 1993, p. 33). This sensitive portrait displays all of the naturalistic qualities that aligned Pearce with his rural contemporaries, and is rendered in a harmonious and soft palette that is immediately recognizable as the artist's.
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