Detail: Jules Dupre (French, 1811-1889), Le Troupeau (The Flock); Oil on canvas, 35-1/2 x 28-1/8 inches (46-3/4 x 39-1/2 inches framed); Signed lower right: Jules Dupre.
1900, New York, Henri Hilton Sale, no. 51
1917, New York, American Art Association, Sale X,, no. 161
Private Collection, California
Marie-Madeleine Aubrun, Jules Dupre 1811-1889: catalogue raisonne de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1974, no. 195, illustrated p. 110
Price Band: $40,000 - 70,000
As can be seen in Le Troupeau, Dupre's approach to nature falls somewhere between realism and Romanticism. The painting's heavy chiaroscuro, an ancient craggy tree, and thick swathes of paint reflect Dupre's love of the dramatic landscape. For him nature was majestic, and he was fascinated by the alliance of the ephemeral and the eternal. He searched for the mystery of creation by examining the permanence of a natural world dominated by trees, which he saw as a significant element linking heaven and earth. This mystical vision was in part influenced by the paintings of such 17th-century Dutch masters as Meindert Hobbema and Jacob van Ruisdael. Using these elements in Le Troupeau, Dupre elevates a typical Barbizon subject to a reflection on the sublime nature of the French countryside.
Jules Dupre was born in Nantes on April 5, 1811. His early training as an artist was in the industrial arts, as it was for many of his contemporaries. In 1829, Dupre went to Paris where he further developed as an artist through his friendship with Cabat. He also met the artists Decamps, Jeanron and Huet at this time. He traveled to Great Britain in 1831, where he sketched and studied paintings by the English Landscapists. Upon his return, he traveled extensively through the French provinces, which were a great inspiration for him.
Dupre began exhibiting in the early 1830s and in 1833 four of his works were accepted at the Salon. His official recognition came in 1835, when he exhibited four landscapes at the Salon, and received a third-class medal. He also included works in regional exhibitions, which were becoming increasingly important, as they supported and promoted local painters and upcoming Parisian artists. It was at this time that Dupre became a key figure in the Barbizon group. He developed close ties with other Barbizon painters, and began to promote relations with independent art dealers. When Dupre showed seven paintings at the 1839 Salon, it was to be his last exhibition until 1852, and a turning point in his career. This was due to the insensitivity of the jury, and the lack of understanding of many of his colleagues. He organized, along with Cabat, Huet, Isabey, Corot and Rousseau, a petition to change the jury system. After the 1848 Revolution, Dupre became a member of the commission created to reorganize the Salon. In 1849, Dupre received the Legion d'honneur and also re-entered the Salon as an exhibitor. In 1867, he exhibited at the Exposition Universelle, and in 1883 at the Exposition Centennale.
Museum Collections Include:
The Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburg; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Musee Seulecq, L'Isle-Adam; The Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Wallace Collection, London; Jean-Pierre Pescatore Museum, Luxembourg; Grobet-Labadie Museum, Marseille; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Frick Collection, New York; Musee d'Orsay, Paris; Museum of Fine Art, Saintes; Springville Museum of Art, Utah; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown; Los Angeles Country Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Baltimore Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cincinnati Museum of Art; Museum of Art, Geneva; Stockholm Museum; The Louvre, Paris; numerous other regional and international museums