c.1800 FRENCH SCHOOL
A Dam on a Mountain Stream
181 x 261 mm. (7 1/8 x 10 1/4 in.)
The present sheet had been tentatively attributed to the painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer Jean-Pierre Laurent Houël (1735-1813), and a stylistic comparison may be made with a pair of rustic landscapes in watercolour and gouache by the artist in the Musée Grobet-Labadie in Marseille. Houël studied in his native Rouen with Jean-Baptiste Descamps and in Paris with Francesco Casanova, and also received training as an engraver with Jacques-Philippe Le Bas. He was in Italy between 1769 and 1772, and returned there in 1776, when he travelled to Naples, Sicily and Malta and made numerous drawings of the sites he visited. Admitted into the Académie Royale in 1774, Houël exhibited at the Paris Salons between 1775 and 1807.