DUNOUY Alexandre Hyacinthe (Paris, 1757 ; Jouy-sur-Lionne, 1841)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau dans le parc de Rochecardon
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 63 cm ; l. 95 cm
Signé en bas, au centre : «Dunouy»
legs Marmottan Paul (testateur) (1932 acquis)
Forced to flee Montmorency (Val-d’Oise) after the publication and condemnation of Émile ou De l’éducation, in 1762 Rousseau took refuge in Yverdon (canton of Vaud, Switzerland) with his friend Daniel Roguin. There he met Roguin’s daughter, Julie Anne-Marie, widow of the Neuchâtelois merchant Pierre Jean Boy de La Tour, and his granddaughter Catherine Madelein, who would marry the banker Étienne Delessert in 1766. Julie Anne-Marie and her daughter became friends with the philosopher, with whom they had an extensive correspondence. Between June 1768 and May 1770, the latter visited them in their Château de Rochecardon, in Saint-Didier-au-Mont d’Or (Rhône). The second visit is the subject of this painting by the largely self-taught Alexandre Hyacinthe Dunouy. It shows the writer sitting under the branches, book in hand, looking over the valley where the Rochecardon and Arche rivers come together. This evocation combining culture and a powerfully present natural setting has strong pre-Romantic overtones.