Bard-les-Epoisses 1780 - 1862 Semur
A FIRE IN A WINTER LANDSCAPE
signed and dated lower right: EBouhut / M·DCCC·XII (1812)
oil on canvas
canvas: 16⅛ by 25 in.; 41 by 63.5 cm.
framed: 26 by 35 in.; 66 by 88.9 cm.
The canvas is lined. Overall the image reads well. The lighter tones in the paint surface remain bright and crisp, though there is some thinning to the paint on the darker hues. Craquelure is barely visible and not distracting. Inspection under UV is difficult to read due to an uneven varnish, but scattered thin lines of retouching fluoresce in some of the browns. Painting can hang as is. Offered framed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Salon, Paris, 1812;
Where acquired by M. Robert-Voisin;
With Galerie Perrin, Paris, by 1986;
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 7 June 1989, lot 187;
There acquired by The First National Bank of Chicago;
From whom acquired by the present owner in 2004.
Paris, Salon, 1812, no. 127 (as Le courier de la malle. Effet de neige.).
S. Balan, Etienne Bouhot, 1780-1862: ouvrage édité à l'occasion de l'exposition Etienne Bouhot, 1780-1862 au Musée de Semur-en-Auxois, 23 juin-10 septembre 2001, exhibition catalogue, Semur-en-Auxois 2001, p. 37 and 104 (as Le courier de la malle. Effet de neige.).
Etienne Bouhot made a reputation for himself through the panoramic perspective he developed in his landscapes, a technique he likely mastered in the workshop of Pierre Prévost. Given that his talents were as a landscape artist, Bouhot would often have other artists like Xavier Leprince and Léopold Boilly paint the figures in his compositions. His works, which frequently exhibited in the Paris Salon, were highly sought after by the elite in Paris, including the Duke of Orleans, the Duke and the Duchess of Berry, and Louis XVIII. Bouhot became the Director of the Drawing Academy in Semur where he died in 1862.
Although the Industrial Revolution did not start in France until the 1830s, the countryside was starting to show signs of its development since the Napoleonic Wars. While most artists opted to present an idealized vision of the country, reminiscing on what it once was, here Bouhot instead captures the threat facing the countryside on the brink of the Industrial Revolution.