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Stanislas-Victor-Edmond Lépine, The Pont de la Tournelle, Paris

Key facts
Full title The Pont de la Tournelle, Paris
Artist Stanislas-Victor-Edmond Lépine
Artist dates 1835 - 1892
Date made 1862-4
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 13.7 × 24.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by J.C.J. Drucker, 1910
Inventory number NG2727
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Pont de la Tournelle, Paris
Stanislas-Victor-Edmond Lépine

Views of the Seine and its many bridges were a favourite subject for Stanislas-Victor-Edmond Lépine. The arched stone Pont de la Tournelle we see here connected the left bank of the river to the Ile Saint-Louis. It was constructed in 1654 and replaced in 1928 by the bridge that exists today.

In this painting we are looking west. The tower in front of the Pont de la Tournelle is what remained of another bridge, the Pont de Constantine. The two towers, spire and apse of Notre-Dame Cathedral on the Ile de la Cité are centre-right in the distance. The tall structure on the horizon is probably the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889. Its presence dates the picture to the final years of Lépine’s life, almost 30 years later than it was previously believed to have been painted.

This small picture is very likely a sketch painted on site. The focus on atmosphere and the muted tonal harmonies suggest the influence of Corot, with whom Lépine had studied.

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