During his expedition through the mountains and valleys of the Priangan in 1819, Payen executed numerous sketches and drawings and some studies in oil of rocky river landscapes, in particular of the river Citarum which he followed for weeks.
The composition of the present lot compares with a preliminary sketch, annotated "Sous la cascade Djompong" (["Downstream the waterfall Jompong"], charcoal on paper, 147 x 224 mm., kept in the Museum of Ethnology, Leyden, The Netherlands, Collection Payen, inv. no. 60-D-11, see fig. 1), one of the waterfalls of the Citarum, south of the - at the time - village of Bandung. In his diaries Payen describes (10-14 June 1819) how he considered rendering the river and its wooded banks at its best, during sunrise or sunset. As a landscapist Payen was fascinated by the overwhelming nature and the topography of this inhospitable part of West-Java and the present lot can be regarded as a lasting memento of a unique and versatile painted oeuvre.
Being the last remaining from a series of three from a private collection, two of which have been sold in Christie's, Hong Kong 31 October 2004 (lots 536 and 537), the appearance to the market of such a work is highly rare, as the vast majority of his oils completed between 1818 and 1853 are all kept in Dutch public institutions.
Christie's wishes to thank Marie-Odette Scalliet for her writing of the catalogue entry for the present lot.