Constant Troyon

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portrait of Constant Troyon, by Eugène Louis Pirodon after Étienne Carjat - in L'Artiste, 15 April 1860
Constant Troyon, 1842: 'The Bathers (Clearing in the Forest)', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, U.S.
Constant Troyon, 1850: 'Cattle Drinking', oil-painting on oak panel; current location: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, U.S.
Constant Troyon, 1855: 'Oxes watching to tillage, morning sky', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Constant Troyon, 1859: 'Coast near Villers', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Walters Art Museum, Baltoimore, U.S.
Constant Troyon, c. 1860: 'Trees - no title', technique unknown; location unknown

Constant Troyon (28 August, 1810 - 21 February, 1865) was a French painter of the Barbizon school. In the early part of his career he painted mostly landscapes. It was only comparatively late in life that Troyon found his 'métier' as a painter of animals.

Quotes of Constant Troyon[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quotes of Constant Troyon
  • ..learn to draw: that's where most of you [Troyon's pupils] are falling down today.. ..draw with all your might; you can never learn to much. However, don't neglect painting, go to the country from time to time and make studies and above all develop them.
    • quoted by Monet, in his letter to Boudin, 1859; as quoted in Discovering Art, – The life time and work of the World's greatest Artists, MONET; K.E. Sullivan, Brockhamptonpress, London 2004, p. 11
    • Monet is quoting in his letter Troyon, who was a good friend of his first art-teacher Eugène Boudin in Le Havre
  • I have made as many as eighteen [rather definitive sketches of cattle] in one month..
    • Quoted by W.H. Fuller, [1], in Constant Troyon and Charles Daubigny at the Union League Club - catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher: Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 12
    • A friend of Troyon relates how the painter, after his return in 1855 from a sketching tour in Touraine, showed him what seemed an almost endless panorama of great, splendid studies of cattle, most of which were, indeed, finished pictures; and when he expressed astonishment at their number and beauty, Troyon responded quietly

Quotes about Constant Troyon[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quotes about Troyon
  • It is the early morning [in the painting 'Windmill' [2]. The sun struggles dimly amid the enveloping mist; the wind rises; then the huge old frame, with worm eaten planks, begins to creak with regular throbs, like the beatings of the heart, as the great membranous wings stretch themselves in silhouette against the pale splendor of the dawn.
    • Quote of Théophile Gautier, c. 1851; as cited in Constant Troyon and Charles Daubigny at the Union League Club, W.H. Fuller; catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher: Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 9
    • It was the picture 'Windmill' [3] which marked the culmination of Troyon's success thus far in landscape art at the Paris' Salons, and made him 'Chevalier of the Legion of Honor'.
  • Among Troyon's paintings there are two huge ones; 'Return to the Farm' is marvelous with its beautiful stormy sky. There is much windy motion in the clouds, and the cows and dogs are very good. In Going to the Market you see the mist at sunrise. It's superb and, most of all, very luminous. The wide space in View from Surennes is amazing. You feel you are really in the countryside.
    • Quote of Monet, in his letter to Eugène Boudin, June 3, 1859; as cited by Rodolphe Rapetti (1990) Monet, p. 11
    • Monet wrote to Boudin in Le Havre just after he had visited the 1859 Salon in Paris
  • He [Troyon] does not sentimentalize his animals, nor concern himself with the drama of their character and gesture. He takes them as components in a general scheme; and he paints them as he has seen them in Nature - enveloped in atmosphere and light, and in an environment of grass and streams and living leafage.
    • Quote of William Ernest Henley c. 1880; as cited in Constant Troyon and Charles Duabigny at the Union League Club, chapter 'Troyon' by W.H. Fuller - the catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher, Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 8
  • Your description of Troyon and Rousseau, for instance, is lively enough to give me some idea of which of their manners they are done in. There were other paintings from the time of Troyon's municipal pasture that had a certain 'mood' that one would have to call 'dramatic', even though they aren't figure paintings.
    • Quote of Vincent van Gogh in a letter to Theo, from the Hague, c. 11 July 1883 - original manuscript at Van Gogh Museum, location Amsterdam - inv. nos. b322 a-c V/1962, [4]
    • At the exhibition 'Les cent chefs d'oeuvre' at Galerie Georges Petit - in Paris, 1883 there were 9 paintings of Troyon. Vincent had asked Theo in Paris to give him a description of the works at the exhibition
  • The first years of the painter [Troyon] were dogged by poverty, which saturated his spirit with a bitterness from which it never got free. Arrived later, by the evolution of his style, to renown and wealth, Troyon preserved the gloom of these humble beginnings. In this he was at fault. Did he not share the public neglect with the first landscape painters of the age? Had he suffered more, and more unjustly, than the chiefs of his company [the painters of Barbizon]? And then, if I must express my full opinion, would the canvases of Troyon, as a landscapist grandly brushed as they are, have sufficed to establish his high renown?
    • Quote of Albert Wolff, 1886, in Notes upon certain masters of the XIX century, - printed not published MDCCCLXXXVI (1886), The Art Age Press, 400 N.Y. (written after the exhibition 'Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvres: the Choice of the French Private Galleries', Petit, Paris / Baschet, New York, 1883), p. 80-81
  • It was accident and a journey to Holland which revealed to Troyon his true mission, that of an animal painter of the first rank.. .At a distance of two centuries Troyon continued the traditions of the celebrated Dutch animal painters without imitating them. Paul Potter was to find a successor worthy of him.. .Fancy the astonishment at the sight of Troyon's animals, with their large life, their broad brush-work in deep, pure colors, studied with a discriminating sympathy for every race and species, and moving through landscapes of a master's creation. These were not the fashionable stuffed beasts, but living, moving herds, stretching themselves luxuriously in the sun, breathing the breezes cool with morning, or huddling close together at the approach of the storm.
    • Albert Wolff, 1886, in Notes upon certain masters of the XIX century, - printed not published MDCCCLXXXVI (1886), The Art Age Press, 400 N.Y. (written after the exhibition 'Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvres: the Choice of the French Private Galleries', Petit, Paris / Baschet, New York, 1883, p. 82
  • Did not Troyon tell me to enter the studio of Couture [in Paris]? It is needless to tell you how decided was my refusal to do so [End of 1859]. I admit even that it cooled me, temporarily at least, in my esteem and admiration of Troyon.. ..and [I] after all, connected myself only with artists who were seeking.
    • quote of Monet, in an interview with art-critic Thiebault-Sisson, 1900; as quoted in Monet and His Muse: Camille Monet in the Artist's Life, Mary Mathews Gedo; University of Chicago Press, Sept. 2010, p. 10
  • Year after year I went with Troyon to Barbizon. On rainy days, when we were unable to sketch in the forest, we visited the farms where the watchers of cattle and the tenders of geese posed as our models; more often still to the stables, where we painted the animals. Here Troyon executed the most charming things in the world; and from 1846 to 1848 I constantly implored him to introduce them into his landscapes.
    • Ad. Charropin (friend of Troyon) to art-collector Ph. Burty; as quoted in Constant Troyon and Charles-François Daubigny at the Union League Club, chapter 'Troyon' by W.H. Fuller - the catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher, Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 8
  • In 1846 Troyon went to the Netherlands, and at the Hague saw Paul Potter's famous 'Young Bull'. From the studies he made of this picture, of Cuyp's sunny landscapes, and Rembrandt's noble masterpieces he soon evolved a new method of painting, and it is only in works produced after this time that Troyon's true individuality is revealed. When he became conscious of his power as an animal painter he developed with rapidity and success.
    • Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 – volume 23;[5]

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