Jean Henri ZUBER

(Rixheim 1844 - Paris 1909)

Landscape with a Stormy Sky

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Watercolour, over a pencil underdrawing.
Stamped with the Zuber atelier stamp (not in Lugt) on the verso.
122 x 190 mm. (4 3/4 x 7 1/2 in.)
As one contemporary critic wrote, shortly after Henri Zuber’s death, ‘For twenty years he contributed largely to the success of the Société des Aquerellistes Français. He understood thoroughly the fundamental principles of aquarelle, and his trained vision enabled him to endue each of his drawings with the atmosphere and character peculiar to the subject. He was equally successful with diverse subjects, whether it was Venice, the shores of the Lake of Como, Antibes, Versailles, among the Jura Mountains, or simply an evening effect in the Luxembourg Gardens, at the Pont Royal, or the Place de la Concorde...Henri Zuber’s art, at once so delicate, so subtle, and so personal, places this painter among the masters, such as Corot, Daubigny, and Cazin, who infused into their art something of their own very soul, that indefinable quality, call it genius or what you will, that makes of a simple picture a masterpiece.’

A comparable watercolour sketch of sky at sunset is illustrated in Paris, Association “Les Amis du Peintre Henri Zuber”, La Lettre: Henri Zuber et son Temps, No.13, June 2005, p.2.



Born in Alsace, Jean Henri Zuber spent most of the 1860’s serving in the French navy, mostly in the Pacific, and it was during this time that he began producing watercolour sketches. When he left the navy in 1868, he entered the atelier of Charles Gleyre, and began to establish a career as an artist. In 1869 he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français for the first time, and, apart from 1871 and 1872, showed there every year thereafter until his death in 1909. Working from a studio on the rue de Vaugirard in Paris, Zuber came to specialize in views of the city – in both oil and watercolour – as well as scenes elsewhere in France. He exhibited at the Salons from 1869 onwards, and from 1884 also showed with the Société des Aquarellistes Français. In 1889 he won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle, and during the 1890’s made several visits to London and the South of France. He would sometimes go on sketching tours in the company of his fellow painter Paul Lecomte, and would spend each summer in the town of Ferrette in Alsace. In 1910, the year after his death, a large retrospective exhibition of Zuber’s work was mounted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Works by the artist are today in the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, as well as in many provincial museums in France.

Provenance

Pierre Miquel
His posthumous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 3 April 2004, part of lot 1095
Private collection, Paris.

Jean Henri ZUBER

Landscape with a Stormy Sky