Oil on canvas
Signed lower right constantin
Dimensions: 79 x 38 cm
Jean Antoine Constantin, better known as Constantin of Aix, was a painter born in Aix-en-Provence.
He is considered the master of Provençal painting and one of the precursors of romantic landscape painting.
After his stay in Rome, he settled in the city of Aix-en-Provence and got married there.
He produced an impressive number of landscapes of Aix and Provence, generally painted on the spot. This is how he collected monuments and landscapes as varied as the town of Digne, the Fontaine de Vaucluse or the harbour of Marseille.
Our landscape, with its neo-classical overtones, depicts a scene with a singular but not unprecedented subject, as we know of a drawing by the artist that was recently auctioned off, depicting the flight of two young girls from a snake.
Two centuries earlier, Nicolas Poussin had painted a similar subject which depicts a man also frightened by a snake.
Constantine drew from Poussin's neoclassical painting the influence he needed to express his own conception of the neoclassical landscape, which he gradually tinged with a sentimental note.
He liked to paint his region and the Sainte Victoire mountain that can be seen on the horizon in our landscape.