Coastal landscape with a herd
oil on mahogany panel
50 x 81 cm 19.7 x 31.9 in
signed and dated lower right André Plumot / 1904
A label of the auction André Plumot (Antwerp 29th Mai 1906) on the back.
Provenance: Vente André Plumot Salle Forst, Antwerp 29th Mai 1906
Publications: Catalogue des oeuvres de feu Monsieur André Plumot P Van der Ouderaa, Roland Bauduin Salle Forst Anvers 29/5/1906
Andre Plumot shows us a coastal landscape with a seated shepherdess, a resting herd and a sloop on the shore. On the horizon to the far left sailing vessels and seagulls, with an animated village on the far right. The different houses, a windmill, a moored boat, a child and his dog are sharply depicted. The whole composition is in balance by a subtle curve in the hill on the foreground, which is repeated in the clouded sky. As usual with Plumot great care has been given to detail, e.g. in the village, the dress and accessories of the shepherdess and the animals. The vegetation on the foreground has been exceptionally careful worked out, avoiding any monotone repetition. The whole scene is lighted from the left. Without doubt this painting is the artists' masterpiece and shows us a resume of his whole career.
André Plumot was a pupil of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp with Edouard Dujardin (1817-1889) and Jean Antoine Verschaeren (1803-1863). He also was a trainee of the landscape-painter Henri Van der Poorten (1789-1874). He completed his education in the studio of Nicaise De Keyser (1813-1887), with the genre-painter Henri Carpentero (1820-1874) and the portraitist Alexandre Louis Lion (1823-1852).
André Plumot made his debut painting genre-scenes inspired by 16th and 17th centuries. Gradually his interiors evolved from showing servants and the mother with child towards more elegant depictions of 17th century society. The first animals - e.g. dogs - show up in these paintings. In 1849 André Plumot left the city of Antwerp for the nearby village of Kalmthout. There he discovered landscape painting and started a series of studies, mostly on small format. Until 1864 he kept on painting historical compositions. Plumot also worked in the Ardennes-region around Targnon and Spa in the company of Joseph Van Luppen. In the valley of the river Meuse he painted in Dinant and Namur. His work outside the studio walls led to an interest in painting nature. Plumot specialized from 1860 on in depicting animals, with a particular skill in painting cows, sheep and goats. From the 1870's on he evolved into painting almost exclusively animals in his last works. His preference for shepherds with their herd as a subject dominated. These animated landscapes were situated in the Ardennes-region - the valley of the Meuse or the ruins of the abbey of Villers-la-Ville - at the Dutch-Belgian coast or near the Castle of Spiere (Espierres) at the river Schelde near Kortrijk.
André Plumot took great care in painting with delicate brushwork. Finishing a painting often took him months. Nevertheless he produced a relatively large oeuvre of a few hundred paintings. Albeit the larger part of it consists of oil-sketches and abandoned compositions. Only in his finished paintings his composition and spatial ambiguity can be fully admired. André Plumot was an exceptionally talented painter of animals. With a keen eye for detail he rendered the typical characteristics of objects, animals and personages. His representations of animals are like genre paintings and not mere portraits. The use of typical and refined colours is stressed by the use of a dramatic light. His choice of elegant and pleasant themes - e.g. a shepherd with a herd - made him one of Antwerps most popular artists. Already eagerly sought after during his lifetime, his works were dispersed at both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In North-America the Vanderbilt-family, John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937), Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) and Charles T Yerkes (1837-1905) were among his faithful clients. André Plumot regularly exhibited with success in Adelaïde, Brussels, Edingburgh, Gent, London, Melbourne, New Orleans and Philadelphia, where his paintings received numerous distinctions. He was a Knight in the Order of Leopold.
Museums: Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp; Museum of Fine Arts, Kortrijk; Museum of Art, New Orleans; Art Gallery, Warrington
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