Nov 13, 2012

Landscape with Two Monks

Landscape with Two Monks

c. 1840

François Edouard Bertin

(French, 1797–1871)

Graphite heightened with white chalk; framing lines (arched at top) in graphite

Support: Blue laid paper

Sheet: 27.4 x 32.2 cm (10 13/16 x 12 11/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1990.79



Bertin studied initially with Girodet and later with Ingres and from them acquired a grounding in classical landscape. He began his career by submitting a historical landscape to the Salon of 1827, but shortly thereafter he broke with classical tradition and devoted himself to painting and drawing from nature. He traveled widely in Europe, particularly in Italy, where he lived for more than a decade. In this drawing on blue paper, two monks populate an Italian roadside scene. Bertin combined a close examination of nature in the specific rendering of the trees and rocks with a clear, almost abstract organization of the planes that belies his classical training.

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