Eugène Modeste LE POITTEVIN
(Paris, 1806 – Paris, 1870)
Van de Velde, who usually followed his friend Ruyter in marine campaigns, draws a naval battle from nature
Pencil, ink, watercolour and gouache
Signed lower right
17 x 22 cm
Related work: In 1843, painting exposed at the Salon of Paris under the number 786
Our watercolour is preparatory to the painting that Le Poittevin exhibited at the Salon of 1843, and was lithographed by Charles Jacque. At the time, La Revue des Deux Mondes thought the painting ‘extremely neat, smooth, neat, in a word, ready to deliver. This is the coquetry still justified by real qualities.‘
Between watercolour and the painting (linked to the lithographed view) exist few differences: the flag of the main mast is a little bit longer and winding on the painting; to the right of the boat, the gentleman with the white plume hat carries another hat (simpler) in the painting; before him the character with the hood is replaced by a soldier wearing a morion; to the left of the galleon on the right, smoke clouds are replaced by a boat.
Le Poittevin illustrate here the work habits of marine painter Willem van de Velde (1611-1693), who as soon as he heard about a fight that his friend Admiral Ruyter (1607-1676) was deliver, embarked immediately for the sole purpose of attending to the action and to represent the movements more truly, did not hesitate to risk his life for it.
Le Poittevin, which had been heavily influenced by Dutch painting during a stay in the Netherlands, produced several works featuring Dutch painters of the seventeenth century, particularly Willem van de Velde; thus he exposed at the Salon of 1845 one Van de Velde studying the effect of the gun his friend Ruyter fired for this purpose, which was reproduced in Illustration in 1845 (N ° March to August), with the following comment: ‘a navy of a gay tone, easy touch, which takes the best of the place that let her characters. These characters, among them Van de Velde at his easel, are placed on a wide. heavy boat, which looks like a boat dock advance This is probably exactly copied from nature, but she has a cut-off of a quaint little way.‘ At the same show he exhibited a second painting with subject another famous Dutch marine painter: Backhuysen is doing telling piracy made by fishermen Schweningen.
In 1850 he exhibited Backhuysen drawing from nature in the dunes of Schweningen and Guillaume Van den Velde, Dutch painter embarks get in front of Admiral Ruyter, his friend, when he arrives in Rotterdam.
Pupil of Louis Hersent and Xavier Leprince at the School of Fine Arts, Le Poittevin (whose real name Poidevin) failed to bit the Prix de Rome in 1829, which did not prevent him to expose in 1831 at the Salon and this continuously until his death.
Although it was an illustrator and cartoonist activity (see its collections of lithographic Diableries and his erotic drawings), most of his work is back fishing scenes and marines on the Normandy coast and cauchois in particular. Some critics of the time evoke the sometimes repetitive side of his compositions.
Romantic in the 1820s and 1830s (with works similar to those of Isabey or Auguste Biard, with which it is friend and sometimes works), his style gradually became more realistic thereafter.
Like Charles Mozin (another student of Leprince) with Trouville, he is one of the first artists to launch the village of Etretat as a fashionable seaside resort; he is his friend Eugène Isabey who introduced him to the place, and it quickly acquires a house, La Chauferette, where he will host in particular Gustave Courbet in 1869.
He was appointed official painter of the Navy in 1849 after Louis Ambroise Garneray, Louis Philippe Crepin and Theodore Gudin (the latter two named in 1830).
Very popular in his time, he received several awards during the official rooms: 1st class medal in 1836, 2nd class in 1831 and 1848, 3rd class in 1855. His studio in Paris was at 5, Treviso city, in the current 9th district.