Henri Duvieux, 1855-1882, French. This is one of a pair of Venetian scenes by Duvieux. It is oil on panel 13 1/2" by 17 3/8" in an original 2 1/2" gold leaf frame. It is signed lower right.
Provenance: Private Collection Midwest, Doyle Auction, NY, Private Collection. Henri Duvieux was an artist influenced by the interest in Orientalism, a widespread preoccupation of many artists of the mid to late-nineteenth century. Duvieux used his travels to depict his interest in landscape and its effect, focusing less on the human element of Orientalism and more on simply the landscape and architecture. In doing so, he kept more of a distance between himself and the culture of the “Orient”. His choice of imagery was popular not only because of its alliance with Orientalism, but also because it allowed the public to acknowledge an awareness of some sites the artist used. Duvieux debuted at the Parisian Salon in 1880 with Vue de Venise (View of Venice) and Vue de Constantinople (View of Constantinople), two oil paintings. Clearly Duvieux was an avid traveler, journeying as far as Constantinople searching for perfect inspiration. Perhaps he had a studio in Venice, which would explain his frequent imagery from this site. What can be said about this artist is that he relentlessly pursued representations of both Venice and Constantinople throughout his career, “according to the taste of the day” Some of these other paintings based on Venice were Le Grand Canal a Venise (The Grand Canal at Venice), Coucher de Soleil a Venise (Setting Sun at Venice), and Panorama avec Voiliers et Gondoles a Venise (Panoramas with Sailboats and Gondolas in Venice), among many others. Another painting of Constantinople was Vue de Constantinople au Soleil Couchant (View of Constantinople with the Setting Sun). Duvieux used Impressionist color similar to Turner’s seascapes to convey intense light and brilliant sunsets and sunrises. Architectural elements were equally important to Duvieux, who render their details with care and precision. Gerald Schurr commented that the “sensibility and the skill of his sunsets of Bosphorus manage to make one forget the slightly commercial aspect of his production of series....” The salability of Duvieux’s images should not discredit his work, however, since his output was extensive and he combined the elements of Orientalism with established tradition of seascapes of earlier masters; he also showed more modern tendencies in the execution of his work.