Fundraising drive to buy a Jules Dupre painting by L’Isle-Adam

Jules Dupré (1811-1889)
The Surroundings in Southampton, 1835
Oil on canvas - 115 x 184 cm
Private collection
Photo : Musée Louis Senlecq

17/12/10 – Fundraising drive – L’Isle-Adam, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire Louis Senlecq – After the success of the appeal for the Lucas Cranach by the Louvre (see news item of 15/11/10), which reached its one million euro goal before the deadline, another museum has launched a drive addressed to the general public, although on a more modest scale.

The Musee d’Art et d’Histoire Louis Senlecq in L’Isle-Adam would like to purchase a large painting by Jules Dupre, The Surroundings in Southampton (ill.). Done in a very free style with an obviously Romantic style, this landscape reflects the influence of English painting, notably that of John Constable. The stormy sky also recalls those of Georges Michel. It was exhibited at the Salon of 1835 (with the title View Taken in Southampton (England)), where it was particularly noticed by Eugene Delacroix who no doubt admired Dupre’s representation of the horses, obviously nervous at the approaching storm.

The artist rented a workshop in L’Isle-Adam in 1845, his father’s hometown, and settled there permanently in 1850. The city museum holds an extensive collection of Dupre’s works (the third in size after the Louvre and Reims). This canvas was exhibited in 2007 at the Dupre retrospective organized in L’Isle-Adam. The purchase price is 500.000 euros, of which 400.000 will be made possible through acquisition loans by the museum as well as various other public funds. The 100.000 balance needs to be raised before March 2011, or else the painting could leave the country. Anyone wishing to pledge a contribution will find all the information here.

A reader has expressed his dismay, and correctly so, at the price of the painting when in fact he says : “The record for the price of a Dupre canvas (of comparable size) is that of 170.000 euros. The painting was presented in the Sotheby’s New York catalogue of 4 November 2010 at the breathtaking estimate of $600.000 / 800.000 (so unsold)”. At today’s exchange rates, $600,000 equals about 447.000 euros, that is more than what the Musee in L’Isle-Adam is going to pay…

Didier Rykner, vendredi 17 décembre 2010

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