An atmospheric "English" landscape by a rare artist, Auguste Delâtre.
Delâtre (1822-1902) was a pioneering printmaker as well as a draughtsman and painter. With a considerable reputation amongst artists, he printed plates by Haden, Jacque, Daubigny, Millet, Rops, Rousseau, and of course Whistler, among others. Francis Seymour Haden said that 'if Rembrandt lived now, he would send his plates to Delâtre'.
Delâtre's print shop became a meeting place for many notable etchers. The movement of Japonisme the influence of Japanese art on occidental artists -is said to have begun there, by force of the Hokusai manga that he owned.
As a result of the efforts of Whistler and Seymour Haden, Deltre was invited to England in 1864, to advise on the setting up of an etching class at the National Art Training Schools at the South Kensington Museum. In the siege of Paris in 1870, Delâtre's studio was destroyed by a shell, as were his works and equipment. He fled to London, setting up a business aided by Edwin Edwards. There he met up with other expatriate French artists such as James Tissot and Jules Dalou. He returned to Paris in 1876 and established a new studio in Montmartre.
I am delighted to be able to present a large original pastel on paper by the artist, depicting a summer landscape in evening light. Dated 1891, it bears an inscription on the back of the frame: paysage anglaise. And true it does look like an English landscape! By 1891 however, Deltâre had long moved back to France. Did he return to England for a visit that year? Or had he simply taken on board the English landscape tradition, and made it his own? A past owner also noted the provenance of the pastel on the verso: the work was acquired at auction in Versailles in 1972, for the price of 500 new French Francs. To give you a point of comparison, a packet of 20 Gauloises Bleues cigarettes in 1970 cost .1 franc 50, and a litre of country wine 1 franc 85 centimes!
Signed and dated at the lower right, the painting measures 34 x 51 cm. The overall framed size in a good frame with a deep mount is 47 x 64 cm.
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