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Théodore Rousseau, Landscape with Stormy Sunset

Key facts
Full title Landscape with Stormy Sunset
Artist Théodore Rousseau
Artist dates 1812 - 1867
Date made possibly 1844
Medium and support Oil on mahogany (?) panel
Dimensions 20.5 × 23.9 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2635
Location On loan: Théodore Rousseau. The revelation of nature, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Landscape with Stormy Sunset
Théodore Rousseau

Under a stormy sunset sky a distant range of mountains is strung out along the horizon. In the foreground a figure stands at the edge of what is possibly an expanse of water. This view was probably painted in 1844, when Rousseau travelled with Jules-Louis Dupré to the Landes, a region south of Bordeaux, and it is probably the Pyrenees that are depicted in the distance.

The sky is thickly painted with multiple layers of blues, greys and pinks, and broad brushstrokes have been used to bring the sky paint down over the mountains, in some cases obscuring their outlines. This thick application of paint and rigorous brushwork is typical of Rousseau’s technique in the 1840s. The scene is painted on top of an earlier composition, some of which is visible to the naked eye through thinner areas of paint. At the bottom right, for example, you can see a round bucket or barrel.

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