The stretch of water in the foreground almost certainly lies near to Daubigny’s home in Auvers-sur-Oise. Its surface is covered with vegetation, including clumps of reeds and water-lilies. A woman in a red and white hat sits at the far side, under a clump of alders. This is an evening scene, with pink touches in the sky close to the horizon at the left.
The painting is closely related to a number of other compositions by the artist, all dated 1873 and repetitions of this view. Daubigny built up this painting in multiple layers, often applying the paint wet-in-wet, and using a variety of painterly techniques. In some areas he added texture to the paint surface with short, evenly spaced parallel lines – for example in the pink cloud, left of centre. These lines may have been created with a graining comb.
The stretch of water in the foreground has been described as both a lake or a river. If the latter, then it almost certainly depicts the river Oise, near to Daubigny’s home in Auvers-sur-Oise. The surface of the water is covered with vegetation, including clumps of reeds and water-lilies. These vie with the myriad reflections from the trees, bushes and the sky itself. A woman wearing a red and white hat sits at the far side, under a clump of alders. It is an evening scene, with pink touches in the sky close to the horizon at the left. A sense of impending dusk is also conveyed by the mauve colour of the clouds on this side.
This painting is closely related to a number of other compositions by the artist, all dated 1873, a year later. The closest of these is Lake with Ducks (Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow), which, along with the other variants, includes a small house at the left. It was Daubigny’s habit to paint repetitions of his landscapes, often at the request of dealers and collectors, and it is probable that the Glasgow view was painted from this work. While the compositions are similar, the sky and water have been treated differently, and the sunset tones are more pronounced in the later picture.
Daubigny built up Alders in multiple layers, often applied wet-in-wet, and using a variety of painterly techniques. Throughout the painting some of the touches of paint are quite dry: for example, the reflections of tree trunks are expressed as vertical strokes with an almost dry brush catching the grain of the wood. In some areas, for example in the pink cloud left of centre, the paint surface is textured with short, evenly spaced parallel lines. These were possibly created with a graining comb. Such marks are also to be found in the sky of Landscape with Cattle by a Stream and the path of The Garden Wall, Auvers-sur-Oise, where they are more widely spaced.
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