Unknown Landscape Painting - Paris Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine in Summer evening light
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Paris Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine in Summer evening light

ca 1880


If the definition of Impressionism is "relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (...), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles" ... then we have here a perfect, original, period impressionist work from the 1880s. It depicts Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, seen from the back - the banks of the Seine to the right are presumably those of the Quai d'Orleans on the Ile St Louis. The light is that of late afternoon or early evening, just before nightfall. It s one of those painting that changes depending on how it is lit: in the sun, the colours are flaming gold; in the shade, it looks as if the sun has just set. The previous owner attributed the painting to Pierre Chapuis (1863-1942). I believe the painting was originally acquired in the artist's studio sale in the 1940s-50s. Pierre Chapuis exhibited with the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts from 1905, at the Salon d'Automne in 1907, at at the Salon des Independants. Yet our painting dates to the late 19th Century, appears to be a mature work, and is unsigned: if it is by Chapuis, it is one of the best works by the artist I have seen. Painters tend to collect works by fellow artists they admire, so our painting may well be the work of an earlier impressionist master. The painting is on its original high quality stretcher and canvas with bears a stamp which I have not been able to identify. The painting measures 54 x 73 cm. In its vintage frame, the overall size is 70 x 89 cm.


  • Condition Details
    A few spots and stains on the varnish. Cross shaped blistering in one area, which however has been consolidated. The old craquelure is perfectly stable. Although the painting would benefit from a clean, I believe it is not absolutely necessary.
  • Dimensions
    H 21.26 in. x W 28.75 in. x D 0.4 in.H 54 cm x W 73 cm x D 1 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Norwich, GB
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2018
Located in Norwich, GB
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