A Tree

In his 'Eléments de perspective' of 1800, Michallon's teacher Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes advised his students to make oil sketches of beautiful trees.

In this sketch Michallon has depicted an ancient tree trunk. The bark is composed of countless quick strokes of colour that suggest its rough texture, while its gnarled branches twist and curl dramatically.

On the reverse of the sheet is a painting of a farmhouse set against a row of trees with a cloud-filled sky above.

Key facts

Artist dates
1796 - 1822
Full title
A Tree
Date made
about 1816
Medium and support
Oil on paper
30.5 × 24 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number
Location in Gallery