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Théodore Rousseau, The Valley of Saint-Vincent

Key facts
Full title The Valley of Saint-Vincent
Artist Théodore Rousseau
Artist dates 1812 - 1867
Date made 1830
Medium and support Oil on paper laid on canvas
Dimensions 18.2 × 32.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1918
Inventory number NG3296
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
The Valley of Saint-Vincent
Théodore Rousseau

From the grassy outcrop in the left foreground there is a vertiginous drop into the valley, which in its sweep towards the menacing line of mountains in the distance fades from green to blue. The valley is criss-crossed with dark green tree lines, the trees conjured up out of small swirls of the brush. The view is in the Cantal region of the Auvergne, where Rousseau spent several months in 1830. The valley depicted here, through which the river Mars runs, is home to a number of villages, including Saint-Vincent-de-Salers.

One of the principal summits of the Cantal region, the Puy Mary, is at the centre. To its left lies the small peak of the Puy de Peyre Ares, and the pointed peak to the right is the Col de Redondet. In common with Rousseau’s other studies from this visit, this view was painted on paper in the open air.

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