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Antoine Chintreuil, House on the cliffs near Fécamp

Key facts
Full title House on the cliffs near Fécamp
Artist Antoine Chintreuil
Artist dates 1814 - 1873
Date made probably 1861
Medium and support Oil on paper mounted on canvas
Dimensions 41 × 31.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought by the Tate Gallery, 1928; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG4382
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
House on the cliffs near Fécamp
Antoine Chintreuil

Fécamp is a fishing town on a part of the Normandy coast known for its high limestone cliffs. Chintreuil visited the area in 1861 and painted a number of open air oil studies on paper, including this one, which was later stuck down on canvas. Pinpricks in each corner of the paper suggest it was painted on site.

The vertical format is rather unusual for a landscape, but it allows Chintreuil to focus on the structure of the rocky coastline, from which the small houses seem to emerge. The very high horizon prefigures a compositional device used by Pissarro and Cezanne.

Chintreuil studied in the studio of Delaroche from 1842, but it was Corot, whom he met the following year, who encouraged him to paint outdoors. Normandy was a popular painting location for artists including Boudin and Impressionist painters, such as Monet, who had been working there since the mid-1850s. Although not an Impressionist, Chintreuil was similarly interested in capturing light and atmosphere.

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