GAUFFIER Louis (Poitiers, 1761 ; Livourne, 1801)
La vallée de l’Arno vue depuis le "Paradisino" de Vallombrosa
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 38 cm ; l. 51 cm
Signé en bas à gauche : "L. G."
legs Marmottan Paul (testateur) (1932 acquis)
The ancient abbey of Vallombrosa occupies a superb site in the commune of Regello, southeast of Florence. The magnificent views there have been evoked by many painters and writers (including the poet Alphonse de Lamartine in 1830). Gauffier studied at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. As a winner of the Prix de Rome, he travelled to the Eternal City in 1784 and stayed there for six years. He returned to Paris in 1789, but fled the Revolution and returned to Italy, where he lived in Florence until his death in 1801. A proponent of the grand genre, he left paintings of religious subjects, evocations of contemporary history, and a few landscapes, including several around Vallombrosa. In 1797, he painted The Monastery of Vallombrosa and the Arno Valley Seen from Paradisino (Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art), and he returned to the theme in 1799, this time taking a different vantage point, now placing his models on the terrace of this “paradise” overlooking the Arno Valley