The low horizon and broadly painted sky in this picture testify to Dupré’s interest in recent English art, especially the landscapes of John Constable and the late Richard Parkes Bonington. This work fits the description of an "expansive and true composition" recently painted "on the spot" in the Limousin region of central France, which a critic admired at the Parisian gallery Susse Frères in the summer of 1836. Its first owner was Paul Casimir Périer (1812–1897), an early supporter of Dupré as well as his colleagues Théodore Rousseau and Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): Jules Dupré. / 1836.
[Susse Frères, Paris, 1836; purchased or on consignment from the artist; presumably sold in late summer to Périer]; Casimir-Charles-Fortunat-Paul Périer, Paris (1836–46; his sale, Hôtel des ventes, Paris, December 19, 1846, no. 15, as "Le passage du gué," for Fr 1201, to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, from 1846]; Adolphe Moreau, Paris (by 1849/51–d. 1859; cat., 1849–53, no. 62); his son, Adolphe Moreau, Paris (1859–d. 1882); his widow, Mme Adolphe Moreau, Paris (1882–at least 1895); her son, Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Paris (in 1900); [E. Le Roy & Cie., Paris]; [Arthur Tooth & Fils, Paris and London]; [Henry Reinhardt, New York]; Frank G. Logan, Chicago (until d. 1937); his widow, Josephine Hart Logan, Chicago (1937–d. 1943; her heirs, 1943–45; their sale, Kende Galleries at Gimbel Brothers, New York, February 1–3, 1945, no. 165, for $3,200 to Watters); Mr. and Mrs. Leon Laizer Watters, New York (1945–his d. 1967); Mrs. Leon L. Watters, New York (1967; gift to MMA)
Paris. 26, Boulevard des Italiens [Francis Petit]. "Tableaux tirés de collections d'amateurs . . .," 1860, no. 195 (as "Un Troupeau de bétail traversant un gué," lent by M. Ad. Moreau).
Paris. Galerie Georges Petit. "Cent chefs-d'œuvre des collections parisiennes," June 12–?, 1883, no. 44 (as "Le Passage du gué," lent by Mme Adolphe Moreau).
Paris. Exposition Internationale Universelle. "Exposition Centennale de l'art français (1800–1889)," May–November 1900, no. 268 (as "Le Passage du gué," lent by M. Moreau-Nélaton).
"Variétés." L'Artiste 12 ([summer] 1836), p. 24, writes, "M. Jules Dupré, infatigable artiste, est revenu ces jours-ci à Paris, apportant du fond du Limousin un tableau peint sur les lieux. C'est une scène d'animaux exécutée de main de maître, composition large et vraie. Tel est le sentiment de toutes les personnes qui vont voir cet ouvrage dans les magasins de Susse" (M. Jules Dupré, an indefatigable artist, has returned to Paris in the past few days, bringing with him from deep in the Limousin region a picture painted on the spot. It’s a scene of animals executed by the hand of a master, an expansive and true composition. Such is the feeling of all those who have seen this work in the rooms of Susse.) [probably this work].
Collection de tableaux modernes tirés du cabinet de M. Adolphe Moreau. Paris, 1849–53, vol. 2, pl. 62 (lithograph by de La Fage), calls it "Le Gué".
Albert Wolff. Cent chefs-d'œuvre des collections parisiennes. Exh. cat., Galerie Georges Petit. Paris, , p. 98, no. 38, ill. p. 7 (engraving by E. Daumont).
John W. Mollett. The Painters of Barbizon: Millet, Rousseau, Diaz, Corot, Daubigny, Dupré. London, 1895, p. 117, as "Cows Crossing a Ford," in the collection of Mme Adolphe Moreau.
Roger Marx. Exposition centennale de l'art français, 1800–1900. Exh. cat., Exposition Internationale Universelle. Paris, , unpaginated, ill.
André Michel. "Les Arts à l'Exposition Universelle de 1900—L'Exposition centennale: La Peinture française (4e article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 24 (October 1900), p. 302, ill. p. 284.
Marie-Madeleine Aubrun. Jules Dupré, 1811–1889. Exh. cat., Galerie du Fleuve. Paris, 1973, p. 7.
Marie-Madeleine Aubrun. Jules Dupré, 1811–1889: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, dessiné et gravé. Paris, 1974, pp. 17, 59–60, no. 84, ill. p. 76, as "Vaches traversant un gué"; notes that it was painted for Casimir Périer, erroneously identified as the grandfather of the future president of France [Périer was the uncle of the future president; see the catalogue of the 1945 Logan sale which states that it was painted for Périer; see Ex-Colls]; lists etchings by Louis Marvy and Collignon and a lithograph by Lafage after this painting; catalogues an undated replica of this painting (no. 84A; private collection).
Catherine B. Scallen. Autour les Impressionistes [sic]: An Exhibition of Barbizon and Pre-Impressionist Paintings. Exh. cat., Noortman & Brod. New York, 1982, unpaginated, under no. 10.
Marie-Madeleine Aubrun. Jules Dupré, 1811–1889: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre, supplément. Nantes, 1982, p. 186.
This picture was reproduced in prints by Collignon, Daumont, de La Fage, and Marvy; see Wolff 1883 and Aubrun 1974. There exists an undated, signed replica (private collection; Aubrun 1974, no. 84A).
Dupré exhibited a similar composition, "Animaux passant un gué," in the Paris Salon of 1839 (no. 652; Aubrun 1974, no. 125); see Jules Janin, "Salon de 1839," L'Artiste 2 (1839), pp. 269–70, and Pierre Miquel, Le Paysage français au XIXe siècle, 1824–1874, Maurs-la-Jolie, 1975, p. 370.