Leprince showed early promise but died young. During his brief career his skills as a figure painter were sought by fellow landscapists ranging from Alexandre-Hyacinthe Dunouy to André Giroux (see Peter Galassi, Corot in Italy, New Haven, 1991, pp. 62, 236 n. 85 ). But he was primarily a painter of landscapes, working in the northern tradition whose most characteristic practioner in France in the 1820s was Jean-Louis Demarne, which is manifest in scenes of encounters in marketplaces and along country roads such as this painting of a shepherd and a rider, possibly a tradesman. The oak-shaded setting is almost certainly in the Île-de-France, possibly in the Forest of Fontainebleau, which was becoming a destination for plein-air painters in the 20s.
The figural group also appears in a highly finished sepia drawing by Leprince, signed and dated 1823, that originally formed part of the collection of Louis-Joseph-Auguste Coutan (now in a private collection; see Coutan-Hauguet sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 16–17, 1889, no. 261, as "Le Voyageur"; see also Gérald Schurr and Pierre Cabanne, Dictionnaire des Petits Maîtres de la peinture [1820–1920], 2nd ed., Paris, 2008, p. 470, ill.).
[Asher Ethan Miller 2013]