Two paintings by Jean Achard recently acquired by the Musée Hébert in La Tronche

1. Jean Achard (1807-1884)
A View of Taillefer seen from the Sassenage Coast, 1837
Oil on canvas - 58 x 88 cm
La Tronche, Musée Hébert
Photo : Musée Hébert

21/2/11 – Acquisitions – La Tronche, Musée Hébert – During the recent exhibition of landscape paintings from a private collection organized by the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon (see article in French), two of these recalled the artist Jean Achard.

The Musée Hébert in La Tronche pursues a policy of acquiring not just works by Ernest Hébert and his friends, but also those by painters from the Dauphiné region. It already owned three canvases by Jean Achard and has now purchased two others.
The first, A View of Taillefer seen from the Sassenage Coast, acquired from a private individual, is dated 1837, that is, early on in his career, when he painted mostly subjects in the Dauphiné. Although it presents a realistic appearance, this landscape which shows more Scandinavian than Classical influence is in fact a re-composition, by the workshop, of elements drawn outdoors from life. Only the Taillefer mountain range, which can be seen in the distance, in fact corresponds to an actual view, animated by an imaginary scene in the foreground which includes a colorful watermill and a traveler.

2. Jean Achard (1807-1884)
A Courtyard in Cairo, c. 1834
Oil on canvas - 36.5 x 28 cm
La Tronche, Musée Hébert
Photo : Musée Hébert

The second, although close in date to the first one (1834) is of a totally different vein. Representing A Courtyard in Cairo (ill. 2), it was painted during Achard’s trip to Egypt in 1834-1835. Acquired from the Grenoble gallery, Les aristoloches, the canvas is very typical of the oriental current fashionable in the first half of the 19th century. Notably, it is comparable to those produced by Adrien Dauzats at around the same time.

Didier Rykner, lundi 21 février 2011

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