Jean-Baptiste PILLEMENT (Lyon 1728 - Lyon 1808)

River Landscape with Figures Fishing Sold

Black, white and touches of coloured chalks on prepared canvas.
291 x 405 mm. (11 1/2 x 15 7/8 in.)


This finished pastel landscape was undoubtedly intended as an autonomous work of art. Landscapes such as this are typical of Pillement's approach to the depiction of nature, filtered through his study of such 17th century Dutch masters as Jan Both, Aelbert Cuyp and Nicolaes Berchem. As the Pillement scholar Maria Gordon-Smith has noted of the artist, 'His figures of shepherdesses, herdsmen, fishermen and washerwomen seem to rest happily or go about their innocent daily tasks in the company of their friendly cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, dogs, etc., all of which are equally as important as the masters who guard them. Nature is usually benevolent...The total effect is an inviting Arcadian stage.'

It may also be noted in passing that, in keeping with many of the artist's river landscapes, the present composition depicts a number of wooden stakes or pilings (pillements in French) set into the water's edge; it has been suggested that this may have been intended as a sort of whimsical signature on the part of the artist.

Saidye Rosner Bronfman, Montreal
The Saidye Bronfman Foundation
Their sale, New York, Christie's, 10 January 1996, part of lot 220
Private collection, London.

New York, Brame & Lorenceau, Kate de Rothschild and Didier Aaron at Didier Aaron, Master Drawings, 1996, unpaginated, under no.32; Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800, London, 2006, p.442 (not illustrated); Neil Jeffares, 'Jean-Baptiste Pillement', Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 [online edition], no.J.592.56.

Jean-Baptiste PILLEMENT

River Landscape with Figures Fishing


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