Claude Joseph Vernet and studio Figurative Painting - Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière -Couple on a Rocky Hill
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Claude Joseph Vernet and studio
Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière -Couple on a Rocky Hill



"Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" (“Couple on a Rocky Hillside above a River”) 1740 Antique French Old Master Oil Painting on Canvas, c. 1740 Suiveur de Claude-Joseph Vernet Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714-1789) "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" represents the work of a brilliant Old Master. Please take the time to closely inspect the painting.   It is bright, luminous and beautiful to a remarkable degree. Even the brilliant blue sky and fluffy white clouds are rendered to perfection.   The amorous couple, the male seated on horseback, are positioned above the Rhone River, with the sun-bathed walls of Avignon looming above the river. Claude-Joseph Vernet was the leading French landscape painter  of the later 18th century. He achieved great celebrity with his topographical paintings and serene landscapes. He was also one of the century's most accomplished painters of tempests and moonlight scenes. Vernet was born at Avignon and trained there with his father, Antoine,  a decorative painter, and with the history painter Philippe Sauvan.  The sight of the whales near Marseille before his voyage to Italy  made a deep impression on him, and immediately after his arrival he entered the studio of a whale painter, Bernardino Fergioni. He spent the years 1734 to 1752 in Rome, where he studied classical landscapes and maritime paintings in the tradition of Claude  Gellee and Gaspard Dughet, as well as the dramatic paintings of Salvator Rosa. In Rome he was influenced by the contemporary Roman topographical painter Giovanni Paolo Panini. He had many English clients and admirers in Rome, including Richard Wilson, whom Vernet is thought to have encouraged as a landscape painter. During his sojourn in Rome Vernet painted views of seaports, storms, moonlights, and large whales, becoming especially popular with English aristocrats. Perhaps no painter of landscapes or sea-pieces has ever made the human figure so completely a part of the scene depicted or so important a factor in his design. In this respect he was heavily influenced by Giovanni Paolo Panini, whom he probably met and worked with in Rome. A long-remembered quote from Vernet himself,  perhaps best encapsulates his concept of painting:   "Others may know better", he said, "how to paint the sky, the earth, the ocean; no one knows better than I how to paint a picture." Vernet became a member of the Academy on his return to France and in 1753 received the important royal commission for a series of large canvases representing the ports of France (1753-65). Claude-Joseph Vernet’s work was often compared favorably with that of the famed Claude Lorrain. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière." Suiveur de Claude-Joseph Vernet. Art historians define Suiveur de "(follower of) as "In our opinion a work by a hand closely associated with a named artist, but not necessarily his pupil." I have thus far been unable to locate a signature on "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière." Thus, I offer "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière," as suiveur de (follower of) Claude-Joseph Vernet. The paintings of Claude-Joseph Vernet have been frequently offered by the world's leading auction houses, including Christie's, Sotheby's, Bonhams and many others. Christie's sold Mediterranean seaport with fishermen unloading cargo and figures resting on the shore by a rocky outcrop, a man-o'-war in the distance for a staggering $392, 040. Christie's sold A shipwreck with figures coming ashore for $314, 500 Christie's also sold Le rocher percé for $257, 000.  Just a few examples of the paintings of Claude-Joseph Vernet include: Un naufrage avec les chiffres à venir à terre sold for $225, 193 Une scène côtière avec les pêcheurs dans l'avant-plan brought $185, 000 Un Capriccio View de Montferrat à l'aube avec les Gorges du Verdon et la rivière Nartuby, avec les pêcheurs décharger leurs prises sold at $150, 775 Pêcheurs Remontant Une Barque Par Gros Temps sold for $151, 295 Fishermen In A Boat Approching The Bay Of Posillipo, Naples brought $62, 500, etc. Even paintings categorized as “School of Joseph Vernet” (a lower category) have achieved very strong prices.   "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" represents the work of a brilliant Old Master. Please take the time to closely inspect the painting.   It is bright, luminous and beautiful to a remarkable degree. Even the brilliant blue sky and fluffy white clouds are rendered to perfection.    The Old Masters were European artists working before 1800. Their work was characterized by extreme technical skill and a certain sense of distinctive and sometimes haunting beauty which has kept the artwork popular through the centuries. Since the time period for works of art classified as old masters is broad, a huge assortment of artistic styles and techniques are encompassed under this umbrella term, as are a range of artists including Goya, Dürer, da Vinci, Tintoretto, Raphael, and Vermeer, among many others. The Old Masters often worked under the supervision of guilds or collectives. Many old masters also worked for and with patrons, who were an important part of the art world during this period. The old master period reflects a very volatile period in European history, as the Renaissance marked major changes in the European way of life. The paintings of the Old Masters represent a much more secure investment, esthetically as well as financially, than the vagaries of today's stock market. The term “Old Master” is commonly accepted usage referring to a European painter or artist who worked before the year 1800.  In other words, paintings of the 19th century would be considered “too recent” to be included in this category.  Neither John Constable nor  Eugène Delacroix would be classified as Old Masters.   The list of recognized Old Masters is rather long, and includes such names as: Claude-Joseph Vernet,Cornelis van Haarlem, Pieter Bruegel the Elder; El Greco; David Teniers the Younger; Meindert Hobbema; Caravaggio; Rembrandt van Rijn; Nicolas Poussin; Johannes Vermeer; Joshua Reynolds and numerous others.   The works of the Old Masters are, of course, increasingly difficult to find and have enjoyed a correspondingly steady rise in prices. Nevertheless, they represent a much more sound investment than the fluctuations of today's financial markets.  One can sleep much more soundly with an Old Master painting on the wall than a rapidly-declining stock market portfolio. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" has been recently acquired in the South of France, not far from Avignon, courtesy of a long-established dealer of impeccable integrity. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière measures" 40 inches x 31 inches framed, and 33 inches x  24 inches unframed. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" has been relined at some point in the past. The massive original antique frame itself is a treasure of great beauty. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière" is truly a magnificent Old Master oil painting, and is offered at an extremely modest price for an Old Master work of this great age, beauty and quality. "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière is in excellent condition." Please write with any questions or comments regarding "Couple sur une colline rocheuse au-dessous d'une rivière."


  • Artist
    Claude Joseph Vernet and studio (1714 - 1789, French)
  • Creation Year
  • Gallery Location
    Arles, FR
  • Reference Number
  • Seller Reference Number
    # 0010
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