Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Henri-Joseph Harpignies

Côte d'Azur Landscape
(Èze, Cap d'Ail and the "Dog's Head" Seen from Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat)


Henri-Joseph Harpignies
Valenciennes, France, 1819 – Saint-Privé, France, 1916


Côte d'Azur Landscape
(Èze, Cap d'Ail and the "Dog's Head" Seen from Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat)




Oil on canvas


99.9 x 125.5 cm


Gift of Mrs. Robert Anderson in memory of her husband, inv. 1939.697


Western Art

Provence, as a foretaste of Italy, has always attracted poets, painters and writers captivated by its climate and moved to celebrate its light. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the wild Mediterranean landscape, unchanged down through the centuries, became a new Arcadia for artists who were intent on exploring the territory and their imaginations in equal measure. Henri-Joseph Harpignies’s conception of landscape differed from that of his contemporaries in that he favoured the immutable aspects of nature over its momentary effects. He would take up the invitations of his Paris studio students and head to the South of France, putting the greyness of the Île-de-France behind him; or he would set out on the road to Italy, whose landscapes would earn him numerous prizes and medals at the Paris Salon. In this painting, the structure of the trees predominates, while the seascape and mountain views are merely suggested in order to convey the general atmosphere. This canvas imbued with naturalism quietly heralds the master’s final works, which are characterized by the fresh luminosity he acquired through contact with his young colleagues and his experimentation with watercolours.

Add a touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up