The true subject of this painting is the dispersal of sunlight in a thicket of trees, where the only patch of sky is visible as a reflection in the stream at center. It was sketched at Pierrefitte, just to the north of Paris, in 1822, the same year Leprince made his public debut at the Salon. Study of the accidental effects of nature was an essential part of the landscape artist’s development. Leprince’s first teachers were his father, Anne-Pierre, and his brother Auguste-Xavier (see 2003.42.40, also on view).
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (on back): a pierre fitte / R Leopold Leprince 1822 / 6
[Jacques Fischer-Chantal Kiener, Paris, until at least 1995]; Eugene V. Thaw, New York (by 2002–9)
Paris. Jacques Fischer-Chantal Kiener. "Peintures de paysages de la Revolution au Second-Empire," 1995, no. 9 (as "Vue prise à Pierrefitte").
New York. Pierpont Morgan Library. "The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994," September 27, 2002–January 19, 2003, no. 95.
Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. "The Romantic Prospect: Plein Air Painters, 1780–1850," June 22–August 15, 2004, no. 41.
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Plein-air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850," September 4–October 31, 2004, no. 41.
Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Plein-air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850," November 19, 2004–January 16, 2005, no. 41.
Jacques Fischer and Chantal Kiener. Peintures de paysages de la Revolution au Second-Empire. Exh. cat., Jacques Fischer-Chantal Kiener. Paris, , unpaginated, no. 9, ill. (color).
Jennifer Tonkovich inThe Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 2002, pp. 206–7, no. 95, ill. (color).
Charlotte Gere inPlein-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850. Exh. cat., Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. Shizuoka, 2004, p. 89, no. 41, ill. (color).
Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. Ed. Jennifer Tonkovich. New York, 2011, p. 133, no. 94, ill. (color), calls it "Interior of a Wood at Pierrefitte".
Robert-Léopold Leprince was the brother of Auguste-Xavier Leprince (see 2003.42.39–40).