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Probably by Georges Michel, 'Stormy Landscape with Ruins on a Plain', possibly 1830s

Key facts
Full title Stormy Landscape with Ruins on a Plain
Artist Probably by Georges Michel
Artist dates 1763 - 1843
Date made possibly 1830s
Medium and support Oil on paper mounted on canvas
Dimensions 55.7 × 81 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by T.W. Bacon through the Art Fund, 1910
Inventory number NG2759
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Stormy Landscape with Ruins on a Plain
Probably by Georges Michel

In the right foreground lies the ruined shell of what must have been a grand building. To the left of it stands a lone figure, bundled up in clothing that is blown to one side in the breeze. Behind the ruins the ground drops quite sharply to the plain, which is dotted with rows of trees in the manner of seventeenth-century Dutch landscapes. A bank of grey clouds hangs darkly over the horizon, building up to a threatening mass to the right of centre.

Authentication of Michel’s landscapes is notoriously difficult, particularly as he never signed them. The panoramic landscape under a stormy sky here is typical of his mature work. Yet certain elements, particularly the thick foreground paint, have led to some uncertainty as to its authorship. The original landscape was probably painted by Michel, but at some point it was overpainted by someone else.

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