Skip to Content
Claude Monet, Paesaggio campestre al tramonto
circa 1863-64
Material and technique
oil on canvas
59 x 80 cm
Augusta Monferini
Rural Landscape at Sunset is an enchanting work by the grand master of French Impressionism. The medium-size canvas rightly figures in the general catalogue of Monet’s works and its prestigious pedigree is well known; it has been in two internationally famous collections: first, the Bernheim and then the Tannhauser.
It is of very fine quality: the soft impasto absorbs the evening shadows that open up towards the horizon into strips of pale light. An air of melancholy emanates from the wood and envelops the figure of the peasant-woman in the distance, riding home on the back of a mule at the end of her day’s work. The oblique flow separating the composition into two parts is reminiscent of the work of the Dutch painter Jongkind, while the thick dark colours of sky and wood contain echoes of the Barbizon School. The luminous quality that dominates and defines the scene is a hallmark of the great artist. The painting is a youthful work, as is evident from the strong imprint of the great painters that inspired it, and is probably a view of Honfleur, painted during Monet’s stay there between 1863 and 1864.
The painting was not shown at the exhibition which Lionello Venturi curated in 1928 at Palazzo Madama in Turin to display the works that Riccardo Gualino intended to donate to the city’s art gallery. Its absence immediately gave rise to doubts about its attribution. However, it had not been included in the donation as Gualino had naturally decided to keep such an important work for himself.
Paesaggio campestre al tramonto
Related Themes