(Paris 1798 - Paris 1860)
Figures in a Landscape by a Waterfall
Signed with initials, dated and inscribed Près la cascade de danio(?) / JC 23 Aout. 1832 in pencil at the lower right.
Stamped with the Coignet vente stamp (Lugt 451c) at the lower right.
244 x 314 mm. (9 5/8 x 12 3/8 in.)
Coignet was a splendid colourist, sensitive to the effects of light and atmosphere in the views he depicted. Unlike some of his contemporaries, who constructed their landscapes by combining different motifs into a unified painted composition, he preferred to draw and paint fully-fledged views. As a contemporary French writer noted of the artist, ‘Coignet did not like to compose his landscapes, because nature does not need, he said, that one lends it a grandeur or a charm of which it is itself the inexhaustible source, but he professed that one must attach oneself, by reproducing it in some way, to present a character worthy of fixing the attention or interest.’ Coignet published a guide to landscape painting, entitled Cours complet de paysage, in 1833, and his studio soon drew numerous young artists attracted by his naturalistic style of landscape painting. He developed a reputation as an inspirational teacher, counting among his students François-Auguste Ravier and Charles-Théodore Frère. Coignet also produced lithographs of landscape subjects, including sixty views of Italy published in 1825 as Vues pittoresques de l’Italie, dessinées d’après nature.
A prolific draughtsman, Coignet was much admired in his day. The Welsh writer and journalist Henry Longueville Jones, who lived in Paris between 1834 and 1842, described Coignet as ‘an artist of great reputation and success, who can command a host of pupils and followers, and who is not unworthy of his fame. His chief qualification is that of admirable drawing: there is, perhaps, not such a landscape draughtsman in France; and his intimate acquaintance with, and observance of Nature in all her forms, confer on him a great advantage: there is no one who can draw a tree better than Coignet…’
The vente Coignet (‘Tableaux et études peintes, pastels, aquarelles, sépias, dessins & croquis, laissés par M. Jules Coignet’), Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Escribe], 8-12 April 1861 [lot unidentified].