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Oil painting - Lake Scene
  • Lake Scene
    Bocion, François, born 1828 - died 1890
  • Enlarge image

Lake Scene

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Switzerland (possibly, painted)

  • Date:

    mid 19th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bocion, François, born 1828 - died 1890 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

François Bocion (1828-1890) was born in Lausanne. He first trained with Christian Gottlieb Steinlen (1779-1847) in Vevey and subsequently with François Bonnet (1811-1894) in Lausanne. In Paris in 1845, Bocion entered the atelier of Louis-Aimé Grosclaude (1784-1869) and later that of Charles Gleyre (1806-1874) and befriended Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and other important exponents of the Realist movement. Back in Lausanne in 1849 he became a teacher at the Ecole moyenne et industrielle of Lausane, a position he held until his death. At the same time, he had an extensive output with several travels abroad. He exhibited in Paris, Vienna, Anvers, London and was a founder member of the Swiss society of watercolorists (1884).

This painting depicts an unidentified Italian or Swiss lake near the Alps, which appear in the background. This view is probably that of an altitude lake. The two figures conversing add a pleasant anecdote to the composition. The compositional formula is slightly reminiscent of the classical landscapes by Claude and Poussin whereas the paint handling, palette and subject matter are close in style to Bocion although inferior in quality. Bocion was best known for his numerous views of the Leman lake and this painting was probably executed by a close follower around mid 19th century.

Physical description

A shepherd and a woman conversing on the edge of a lake surrounded by imposing mountains whose summits are covered with snow.

Place of Origin

Switzerland (possibly, painted)


mid 19th century (painted)


Bocion, François, born 1828 - died 1890 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 27.6 cm approx., Width: 46 cm approx., :

Object history note

Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend, listed in the 1868 post-mortem register of the contents of his villa in Lausanne (V&A R/F MA/1/T1181) as 'Oil on canvas. Italian lake. In frame'; bequeathed by Rev. Chauncey Hare Townshend, 1868.

Historical significance: This painting belongs to a large group of 19th-century landscape paintings bequeathed by the Rev. Townshend to the museum in 1868.
The subject matter of the present painting recalls such works by Bocion as 'The Shore of the Leman Lake with Figures', dated c. 1855, Victoria & Albert Museum, London but probably does not depict the Leman lake. It is most likely to be a view of some mountains' lake, generally situated at the pass between two summits and therefore at high altitude.
Although the handling of paint and the palette dominated by blue hues are close in style to F. Bocion but look inferior in quality. This painting was therefore possibly executed by a follower of Bocion around mid 19th century.

Descriptive line

Oil on canvas, 'Lake Scene', Follower of François Bocion, mid 19th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 11, cat. no. 32.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Shepherd; Lake; Landscape; Figure




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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