The Homely Woodland Nymph, Circa 1870

The Homely Woodland Nymph, Circa 1870

Code: 10107


H: 24cm (9.4")W: 38cm (15")D: 1cm (0.4")


I love inventing titles, even though I may be stretching things a little here! And yet - the scene is so enigmatic: a young woman, in dressed in rather baggy garb, is lying in woodland, resting on her elbow, and looking straight at us. The light seems to come from the moon rather than the sun, adding to the mysterious atmosphere.

Dating from the 19th Century, and incredibly modern for its time, the painting has been attributed on the verso to Jean-Baptiste Bertrand (25 March 1823 Lyon - 26 Sept 1887 Orsay, Seine-et-Oise).

Bertrand initially studied with Etienne Rey and later of Jean-Claude Bonnefond at the cole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon from 1840 to 1843. The artist Alphonse Perin (17981874) suggested that he move to Paris, where he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1844 and had his first Salon exhibition in 1857.
Bertrand travelled in Italy between 1857 and 1862. Returning to Paris, he befriended sculptors such as Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Alexandre Falguire and Auguste Clsinger. Influenced by his sculptor contacts, Bertrand devoted himself from 1866 to allegories and genre scenes, departing from his early Nazarene style.

The painting presented here is an oil on board mounted on to canvas. You will  forgive criss-cross cut marks that are visible on the surface, more from certain angles than from others. They are now part of this antique painting's story, in spite of its sensitive restoration. Measuring 13 x 27 cm, the painting is presented in a sumptuous frame. The overall framed size is 24 x 38 cm.