Paul Vallois was able to render this peaceful boating scene with remarkable spontaneity and a striking relief.
The cloud-laden sky occupies the upper half of the composition, while the lower part is occupied by the barge, the central object of the painting.
The diagonal arrangement of the barge creates a dynamic effect of depth and relief.
Using a bright red to treat the bow of the barge, the artist gives the viewer a central point from which the eye will naturally slide along the hull of the boat to the right to reach the shore and the grove of trees.
The artist has here mastered the art of reproducing the shimmer of the water, knowing perfectly how to transcribe the reflections of the boat and the ripples on the surface of the current.
The softness of the tones used for the treatment of the landscape and the river reinforce the tranquility of the scene, in opposition to the intense red of the barge reminding us of the presence of human activity.
This is a major work by Paul Vallois, dated 1895.
It is cited in the Benezit dictionary of painters, volume 14, page 24 Public Sale : Rome 29 May 1990 (River landscape with barge 1895, oil on canvas 33 X 46 cm).
This painting is also reproduced in the dictionary of the Petits Maîtres de la peinture, volume II; page 481.
Paul-Félix Vallois was born in Rouen in 1845 and died in 1906.
He was a student of Léon Bonnat and Arsène Rivet. He was particularly fond of the bucolic atmosphere of the banks of the Seine, as well as the woods’ undergrowth and the ports of Normandy, in the style of the Rouen school.
He was present at the Paris Salon from 1876 to 1882.
The museum of Louviers has one of his works
The canvas measures:13.38 inches high x 18.11 inches long.