Paris 1783–1862 Versailles
Landscape with a Shepherd Walking before the Falls at Tivoli
Inscribed on the back of the stretcher, CAMINADE DE CASTRE
Oil on fine linen canvas
14 ⅜ x 9 ½ inches
36.5 x 24.1 cm
By descent through the artist’s family
Private collection, New York, since 2007
Painted circa 1810
A pupil of Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), Alexandre-François Caminade was a painter of religious subjects and portraits, working in the Neo-classical style of his master. Exhibiting as David’s pupil at the Académie from 1804 until 1809, he won a gold medal in 1806 with the Return of the Prodigal Son and placed second in the Prix de Rome contest in 1807 with his Theseus Vanquishing the Minotaur.¹ Caminade exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1812 through 1859 and received numerous commissions from various parish churches in Paris during the Restoration and July Monarchy (1830-48).
Landscape paintings by Caminade are exceedingly rare. While there is no written documentation that he ever traveled to Italy, this and a related view of Tivoli now in a private collection,² both of which descended through the artist’s family as his work, provide strong evidence for such a visit. Stylistically and on the basis of his exhibition history at the Académie and the Salon mentioned above, this painting may be dated to circa 1810, the period between 1809 and 1812 during which he could have likely traveled to Italy. Though painted en plein-air, directly from nature, this painting is still rooted in the Neo-classical tradition of landscape painting - combining a famous site in the Roman campagna with controlled brushwork and a subdued palette.
For a history of Caminade’s submissions to the Académie’s annual Prix de Rome contest, see P. Grunchec, Le Grand Prix de Peinture: Les concours des Prix de Rome de 1797 à 1863, Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 1983, pp. 137-47.
Hamburg and Munich, Thomas le Claire Kunsthandel and Daxer & Marschall Kunsthandel, Romanticism and Nature: A Selection of 19th- Century Paintings and Oil Sketches, 2004, pp. 22-3, illustrated.