The inscription on the original stretcher of this sketch tells us that it is of the Val de Villé, a valley in the Bas-Rhin region of Alsace in France. The numbers in the inscription probably refer to the date and the time of day at which the sketch was painted, which was early morning in the month of October (the number '8' being written as shorthand for the Latin 'octo'). The light is rendered with even layers of buttery whites and beiges, on top of which the artist has painted passing clouds with quick flicks of his brush.
View looking into the Val de Villé in the Vosges, France
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
27.9 × 38.5 cm
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Location in Gallery