Oil on canvas
8 x 10½ inches (20 x 27 cm)
This charming portrayal of a rustic house in the early hours of the morning is an excellent example of the en plein air style that became popular at the end of the 19th century in France. The loose, light brushwork conveys a sense of spontaneity, and perfectly captures the dappled sunlight in the courtyard.
The rise of painting en plein air across the nineteenth century was coextensive with the rise of landscape painting as a legitimate artistic genre. In the early nineteenth century, landscapes were only a worthy subject of attention if they provided the backdrop to a mythological or historical tableau. By the end of that century the rise of the Impressionist movement meant that landscapes, and particularly natural landscapes, were worthy of attention in their own right.