After not having posted anything for ages the first thing I’d like to share here is for a change not of my own creation! I bought this tiny drawing (just 15cm x 8.5cm) because it really caught my attention as being amazingly good & for 15 euros I think I got a bargain!
I didn’t know a thing about it other than that I liked it. On getting it home & studying the writing I could make out it said “Pierrefonds 11 juin 1847”. The Château de Pierrefonds (in Oise, to the North of Paris) was in ruins at this time, but later in 1857 was virtually rebuilt by the architect Viollet-le-Duc.
I took it out of the frame to see if there was anything written on the back & curiously there is a strange mixture of French & English which says “159 montmartre street Mr Briant from Mr La Combe St Michel” I presume that this means A Monsieur La Combe either sold or gave the drawing to a Monsieur Briant & that the transaction took place in rue Montmartre which is in Paris & obviously famous as an arty sort of a place!
Many artists have made drawings & paintings of this château but I can’t find a painting anywhere that corresponds to this study. Perhaps it was never eventually used, or maybe somewhere in the world there exists a painting similar to this?! I ‘m curious to know who made this drawing- evidently they were very accomplished.
Jean Baptiste Camille Corot depicted Pierrefonds between 1834 & 1866. Up until about 1850 his drawings were more precise & to me this looks quite similar in style to some of the drawings he made on his trips to Italy particularly the 1843 trip. A follower of Corot who also depicted Pierrefonds was Eugène Lavieille.
However, I have to admit to being a total non-expert on any of this & so it is really a lot of wishful thinking. I’m not really going to suggest that it’s by Corot! Probably it’s someone totally unheard of, though in my opinion they were still very good (as are lots of unheard of artists!) Anyway, it’s fun & I’ve learnt lots in researching it. I doubt anyone that really could work out who drew this will ever read this, but I hope those of you that do, will like it anyway or find it interesting. Let me know what you think.
In the end though, I think what matters is that this still exists to be appreciated regardless of whether the artist was famous or not.
Update: (February 28 2011) .
Having posted this here a year ago it seems that many people have found this in their searches for either Pierrefonds or Corot. If you would like to leave me a comment to let me know your opinion on this drawing or send me an e-mail about it, I would very much appreciate your feedback. Thanks for your time.