View of the Puy de Dôme and Royat, 1839
Oil on paper laid down on canvas, H. 0.3 m; W. 0.39 m
Located and dated lower right: Royat 1839
Provenance: Private collection, Paris
Private collection, New York
Michel Schulman, Théodore Rousseau, catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint, 1999, n° 203, p. 157.
Théodore Rousseau developed an appreciation for the French countryside early in his life, and after a brief employment at sawmill, began painting landscapes during extensive travels throughout France in the late 1830s and 1840s, before settling in Barbizon about 1847. His influence came from naturalist painters, Ruisdael and Constable, combining an analytical eye with a romantic heart. In the 1830s Rousseau established himself with a series of boldly painted and dramatic scenes from the Auvergne.
By the changing degrees of light, this wonderful romantic landscape belongs to the best impressionist paintings. The sunset at the end of fall illuminates the mountain in the background, the clouds are present in the sky. A bright palette, the delicate various brushwork, the spontaneity put together the ground and the many pale and transparent colours give the effect of matter. The quality of the painting shows Théodore Rousseau’s searchs to obtain a new concept of painting.