Louis Peyron, French naturalist painter, was born in Saint-Etienne, capital of the Loire department on August 9, 1841. He studied at the drawing school of his town, pupil of Claude Soulary and Alexandre Bauderon. With the exception of a short stay in Switzerland, where he became friends with Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) and his participation from 1874 at the Salon de la société des amis des arts in Lyon, he carried out his entire artistic career in his hometown. He mainly painted and exhibited landscapes from Haute-Loire following the canons of naturalism, a pictorial movement between realism and academism. For a few years between 1881 and 1884, he combined his work as an artist with politics, working as a deputy in the mayor's office. A man of raw character, he had serious shortcomings with some of the best Forézien (forest landscape) painters of the time. Although quite gifted, he was not a very prolific painter and did not evolve towards the new artistic trends emerging in France in the latter part of the 19th century. Some of his landscape paintings are on display in the Saint-Etienne Museum of Art and Industry and he is also known locally for a series of large format paintings that were on display in the town hall.
Louis Peyron died in oblivion in his hometown on June 11, 1910.
Beautiful landscape representing a man crossing a river in a flat-bottomed boat. Oil on canvas produced around 1870. The scene is most likely located at Le Gouffre d'Enfer, upstream from the dam of the same name, near Saint-Étienne (Loire). This is a superior quality piece, as well as very decorative.
Sources: BNF; Archives de France; Monographie et histoire de la ville de Saint-Etienne, 1891; Dictionnaire des artistes foréziens du XIXe siècle, Jacques Beauffet, p.169-170.
Artist: Louis Peyron (1841-1910).
Signed in lower right corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 43 x 61 cm. / 17 x 24 in.
Frame: 59,5 x 77,5 cm. / 23 ½ x 30 ½ in. Sculpted gold wood, good general condition.