View of Beirut

Jules Coignet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 804

Coignet’s visit to the Middle East in 1844–46 provided him with subject matter for paintings he later exhibited at the annual Paris Salons. This picturesque view is founded on formal conventions of Neoclassical landscape composition, but the spirited brushwork used to convey the shimmering Mediterranean light is characteristic of an informal sketch. As if to emphasize the speed with which it was completed, Coignet inscribed the location and date in the still-wet paint with the wood end of his brush.

View of Beirut, Jules Coignet (French, Paris 1798–1860 Paris), Oil on paper, laid down on canvas

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