Landscape with Château Galliard

Object Details

Title:

Landscape with Château Galliard

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Jacques de Boissieu (French, 1736 - 1810)

Culture:

French

Date:

1796

Medium:

Pen with black and gray ink and brush and gray wash, heightened with gouache and watercolor

Dimensions:

31.3 x 44.5 cm (12 5/16 x 17 1/2 in.)

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Jean-Jacques de Boissieu carefully framed his motif: an abandoned fortified house in Lyon known as Château Gaillard. Viewed from below, the ruins loom over the landscape; two minute figures in the foreground heighten the castle's imposing presence. Bathed in clear light, the two women are paired with two equally tiny pots of flowers, small symbols of a tamed and cultivated natural world. But for the most part, nature cannot be contained. Foliage and trees spring forth from the craggy inclines and ruins. Nature and the man-made intermingle and are brought closer together by a shared palette of browns and greens.

As a draftsman, Boissieu is best known for drawings like this one: large-scale landscapes enhanced with gray wash and highlights of gouache or watercolor. Boissieu masterfully adapted his brushwork to capture nature's distinct and varied textures in a complex pattern of strong shadows and bright light under an extremely light and cloudless sky. Toward the left edge of the image, tiny dabs of blue gouache deepen the shadows.

Provenance

Private Collection (France)

Exhibitions
A Revolutionary Age: Drawing in Europe, 1770-1820 (January 18 to May 1, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 18 to May 1, 2005
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (March 14 to June 18, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to June 18, 2006
Capturing Nature's Beauty: Three Centuries of French Landscapes (July 28 to November 1, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 28 to November 1, 2009
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014