CLAUDE-JOSEPH VERNET | Mountainous river landscape with two fishermen casting a net, and a man with his horse-drawn cart travelling along a sandy path
The Property of a Gentleman
The Property of a Gentleman
Avignon 1714 - 1789 Paris
MOUNTAINOUS RIVER LANDSCAPE WITH TWO FISHERMEN CASTING A NET, AND A MAN WITH HIS HORSE-DRAWN CART TRAVELLING ALONG A SANDY PATH
signed and dated lower left: j. Vernet. f. 1780.
oil on canvas
unframed: 26.6 x 34.2 cm.; 10½ x 13½ in.
framed: 40.7 x 48.2 cm.; 16 x 19 in.
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This work is available to view at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, 13 – 18 September (weekdays 9am – 4.30pm; weekend 12-5pm).
The canvas has an old, firm relining, the paint surface is slightly dirty and the varnish is rather discoloured. The painting is in overall very good condition. The varnish fluoresces opaquely under ultraviolet light, making it difficult to discern any previous restoration, but there would appear to be only some extremely minor retouchings to small, localised areas of craquelure.
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.
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As a pure Alpine scene, this is a very rare work within Vernet's œuvre. In 1778 Vernet spent six weeks in the Swiss Alps with his son Carle, at the invitation of his most important patron, Jean Girardot de Marigny. The trip itself is testament to the close relationship between the artist and the financier, who formed an important collection of contemporary French art. This mountainous landscape with rapids would have been inspired by Vernet's trip of two years prior, as well as the five goauches he purchased in 1780 from the Swiss artist Caspar Wolf (1735-98), known for his dramatic Alpine landscapes. The composition is close to that known from an undated engraving after Vernet depicting rapids and fishermen against a mountain backdrop.1
1 F. Ingersoll-Smouse, Joseph Vernet, Paris 1922, vol. II, p. 52, cat. no. 1315, reproduced fig. 252.