This peaceful river landscape depicts the Oise near the village of Auvers, where Daubigny built a home in 1860. At the far right, mostly hidden by a clump of trees, is Daubigny’s studio boat, nicknamed Le Botin (Little Box). It was originally a ferry boat which the artist had converted with the addition of oars and a cabin. From 1857 Daubigny used it to paint many views, particularly along the Oise. Its last outing was in 1867, after which he installed it in his garden in Auvers and replaced it with a second vessel on the river. Daubigny’s example inspired Monet to acquire a studio boat in 1872.
The view was painted in a number of thin layers over a period of time. In the water the brushwork is very fine and feathery, but the sky has been handled quite roughly, with swirling clouds depicted in circular strokes of different greys.
This peaceful river landscape depicts the Oise near the village of Auvers, to the north-west of Paris. In 1860, Daubigny bought a plot of land there and built a home. At the far right, mostly hidden by a clump of trees, is his studio boat, nicknamed Le Botin. The cabin is painted in grey and the boat itself in two bands, red above black. Daubigny’s daughter-in-law, Madame Karl Daubigny, recalled that the artist bought a boat originally intended to be a ferry, but turned it into a sailing boat with oars and a cabin at one end, which he used as a studio. Its name, which means ‘Little Box’, came about after an argument between its crew and that of a barge, a member of which yelled out, ‘He’ll [the cabin boy] drive us nuts with his Botin’.
From 1857 Daubigny used it to paint many views, particularly along the Oise. Its last outing was in 1867, after which he installed it in his garden in Auvers, and acquired a second vessel for the river. Madame Karl Daubigny also wrote that Daubigny painted the cabin in stripes of bright colour, but in all the depictions of the boat, by both Daubigny himself and by other artists, such as Corot, it is shown as grey. Daubigny’s example inspired Monet to acquire a studio boat in 1872, which he depicted in The Floating Studio of 1874 (Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo).
The view here was painted in a number of layers over a period of time. The paint layers are comparatively thin, so the warm colour of the wood support shows through in a number of places. The brushwork is, on the whole, very fine and feathery, for example in the reeds surrounding the boat. The water is painted in smooth horizontal strokes interspersed with vertical strokes indicating disturbances and reflections. Water lilies are added with larger touches of paint. By contrast, the trees in the background are more broadly painted, and the sky, in relation to the rest, has been handled quite roughly, with swirling clouds depicted in circular strokes of different greys.
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