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Oil painting - A view of Cordoba, Spain
  • A view of Cordoba, Spain
    Bossuet, François Antoine, born 1798 - died 1889
  • Enlarge image

A view of Cordoba, Spain

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Brussels (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1863 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bossuet, François Antoine, born 1798 - died 1889 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon

  • Museum number:

    1071-1886

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

François Antoine Bossuet (1798-1889) was born in Ypres and trained in the Brussels Academy where he became a teacher in 1855. He wrote a perspective treatise in 1843 and was famous for his 'vedute' paintings especially from Italy and Spain.
Bossuet was the teacher of Jean-BaptisteVan Moer (1819-1884), another famous vedute artist, and François Etienne Musin (1820-1888).

This painting is a typical example of Bossuet large production of 'vedute' paintings he executed mostly in Spain and Italy. This composition belongs to a group of several 'vedute' ispired by the southern Spanish countryside, especially Seville and Cordova.

Physical description

A view of Cordova, southern Spain, with boats, fishermen and passers-by, imposing buildings on the right hand-side and an arched bridge in the mid distance.

Place of Origin

Brussels (probably, painted)

Date

1863 (painted)

Artist/maker

Bossuet, François Antoine, born 1798 - died 1889 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

'F. Bossuet 1863'
Signed and dated by the artist, lower right

'CORDOVA'
Inscribed centre foreground

Dimensions

Height: 80.6 cm estimate, Width: 127.6 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon, 1886
Ref: Parkinson, Ronald, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, (Victoria & Albert Museum, HMSO, London, 1990), p.xx.
Joshua Dixon (1811-1885), was the son of Abraham Dixon of Whitehaven and brother of George Dixon (who was head of the foreign merchants firm of Rabone Brothers in Birmingham 1883-98). Educated at Leeds Grammar School, and was deputy chairman of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company 1869-70. Died Winslade, near Exeter, 7 December 1885. Bequeathed all his collection of drawings, watercolours and oil paintings to the Bethnal Green Museum; they have since been transferred to the V&A. He also collected engravings, Japanese vases and panels, and bronze and marble sculpture.

Historical significance: This painting is a good example of Bossuet's large output of landscape paintings. The present composition appears to be one of many versions including a painting signed and dated 1863 lower right, sold Christie's New York, 23 Apr. 2002, lot 144 and called Fisherman and other figures on the Banks of the Guadalquivir (oil on canvas, 74 x 117 cm), a smaller version was sold Christie's New York, 23 Oct. 1996, lot 293 and called Cordova, vue de la pêcherie... (oil on canvas, 45 x 66 cm). Bossuet also executed other paintings of the same panorama depicted from a closer point of view. His typical light pastel-like palette sought after the pictorial rendering of bright light as it appears in Mediterranean country. A comparable work shows the same compositional and colours schemes albeit it represents another view: The Torre del'Oro, Seville, sold Sotheby's New York, 27 Feb. 1986, lot 11.
Bossuet specialised in 'vedute' paintings. i.e. a term applied to a painting, drawing or print representing a landscape or town view that is largely topographical in conception, inspired by the many countries he visited all over Europe including North Africa (Marocco). He belonged to this generation of Belgian painters who travelled around Europe and specialised in landscape and 'vedute' paintings, a trend that was much praised during the second half of the 19th century. This 'tour' witnessed the search for inspiration abroad and more exotic subject matter as well as an increasing interest for the effect of light in open air, a forerunner sign of the later Impressionism.

Historical context note

The artistic relationship between the Northern and the Southern Netherlands, that is modern-day Holland and Belgium, were very strong during the 19th century especially after the proclamation of the Kingdom of Netherlands in 1815. For instance the Prix de Rome was awarded equally to Antwerp and Amsterdam artists, even after the independence of Belgium in 1830, and Dutch and Belgian artists continued to have an artistic influence on each other. Like the Dutch painters, the majority of Belgian artists of the first half of the 19th century, including history painting, genre scenes, landscape and portrait paintings, articulated a new national pride which nevertheless drew upon French academic taste. Such artists as Jean-Bernard Duvivier (1762-1837), Henry Leys (1815-1869) and Karel Verlat (1824-1890) made extensive use of these renewed genres in their oeuvre. Belgian artists also travelled a great deal, not only for training purposes in the tradition of their artistic predecessors but for the sake of discovering new surroundings and making new acquaintances: Paris was the favourite destination. While Italy also remained a popular destination, the majority of these artists tended to move on to other areas of interest, such as Morocco, less for their artistic traditions, and more for their exotic aspects.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'A view of Cordoba, Spain', François Antoine Bossuet, 1863

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

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 13, cat. no. 37.

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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