Pluie et soleil

Antoine Chintreuil
Pluie et soleil
entre 1814 et 1873
huile sur toile
H. 105,0 ; L. 216,0 cm.
Don de Jean Desbrosses, disciple et légataire de l'artiste, 1884
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
Antoine Chintreuil (1814 - 1873)

When this impressive painting was exhibited at the 1873 Salon, the art critic Castagnary, a champion of Courbet and the Realists, paid it a glowing tribute: "this Effect of rain and sun on the surface of this marsh where a few cattle are grazing, is truly admirable, and it is equalled by the incandescent sky that bathes the whole landscape at low tide in its golden light".
Castagnary was not the only one to appreciate Chintreuil's work, as the painting very quickly became famous.
Many paintings by this same artist, exhibited at the Salon and produced at the height of his powers, are characterised by their pastoral view set in an enormous, wide composition. One can often find in them the same dramatic treatment of the atmosphere and the light. Here, the light tones and the fluid texture very successfully reproduce the contrasting effects of rain and sun, revealing the freshness and sensitivity of this painter. He was born in Pont-de-Vaux in the department of the Ain, where the village paid tribute to him in 2002.