• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 7782

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours Evening Sale

    8 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 36

    Charles-Francois Daubigny (Paris 1817-1878)

    Un sentier, fin du mois de mai

    Price Realised  


    Charles-Francois Daubigny (Paris 1817-1878)
    Un sentier, fin du mois de mai
    signed and dated 'Daubigny 1870' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    35¾ x 57 in. (91.5 x 145 cm.)

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    Charles-François Daubigny straddled two generations of French landscape painters: he was very close friends with Camille Corot, and a champion of the Impressionists, resigning from his post on the Salon jury in 1870 at his colleagues' rejection of a painting by Monet. Although he was closely associated with his contemporary landscape painters due to their mutual concern with the study of nature, he spent little time in the region of Barbizon. His own vision of nature replaced the forest wilderness or desolate wastelands sought by artists such as Rousseau, for more tamed, cultivated and well-watered landscapes along the banks of the Seine and its tributaries, which he painted almost exclusively as expansive, horizontal panoramas. As Charles Théodore Price writes: 'Whereas the public found in Barbizon a tense emotionalism, in Daubigny it found a gentle mood of contemplative peace' (Hellebranth, op. cit, p. xvii).

    Many of Daubigny's smaller paintings were executed out-of-doors on his studio boat, 'Le Botin', which he launched on the Oise river in 1857. His brushstrokes at this time became more impressionistic, a characteristic which drew fire from more conservative critics, but drew him closer to the younger artists he later supported so actively. The famous critic Théophile Gautier commented that 'it really is too bad that this landscape painter who possesses such a true, such a just and natural feeling, is satisfied by an impression and neglects detail to this extent...the landscapes of M. Daubigny offer merely spots of colour juxtaposed.' Although meant as a criticism, the term stuck, and later came to define the essence of a new school of painting. Indeed, although the human scale of the landscape and the contemplative mood of this painting connect it to Daubigny's earlier works, it is executed in a freer and more boldly painterly style; the treatment of the trees, for example, is reminiscent in particular of Camille Pissarro.

    This painting was once one of over 200 paintings in the prestigious collection of Alexander T. Stewart, the American dry goods tycoon who collected during the second half of the 19th century.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    with Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired directly from the artist).
    Acquired from the above by A.T. Stewart by 1873; sale, American Art Association, New York, 23-31 March 1887.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 24 May 1984, lot 18.
    with Galerie Bühler, Munich, when acquired by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The property of a Swiss private collector (Lots 36 & 37)


    P. Miquel, Le paysage français au XIXe siècle, Paris, 1975, III, p. 697.
    R. Hellebranth, Charles-François Daubigny 1817-1878, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1976, p. 316, no. 968, illustrated.
    R. Müller-Mehlis, 'Von Daubigny bis Delacrox', Weltkunst, 11 November 1985, XXI.
    A. Wagner, 'Meister der Schule von Barbizon', Die Kunst, November 1985, p. 942, illustrated.


    Paris, Salon, 1870, no. 725.
    Munich, Galerie Bühler, Von Daubigny bis Delacroix: Barbizon und sein Umkreis, 12 October-8 November 1985, no. 5.