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Style Other / Ref.11024

Alexandre DEFAUX (1826 - 1900), "Les Poules" (The Hens)

Width: 70'' ⅞  180cm
Height: 103'' ½  263cm
Inner width: 47'' ⅝  121cm
Inner height: 80'' ¼  204cm

France, 19th century

This oil on canvas with important dimensions is signed and dated 1874 lower left. It is the work of the French painter Alexandre Defaux (1826-1900) known especially for its genre paintings and its spring landscapes with hens, geese and ducks.
In the center of this spring landscape, the flowers of a tree are made up of multiple small touches of light paintings creating an impression of vibration and brilliance. On the ground, a multitude of little hens, roosters and ducks strut in the fresh grass fresh. Some are made of bright highlights. A stream, where the poultry come to drink, separates the space. The roof of a small house stands out among the foliage in the background on the right. This picturesque landscape depicts the sweetness and tranquility of life in the countryside away from all human activity.
The ornamental richness of the frame contrast with the simplicity, even a certain naivety, of the represented scene. It consists of multiple friezes, especially large acanthus leaves carved in gilded wood. At the top is inscribed the number 38 : the painting was exposed at the time.
In fact, in December 1882, an auction took place at the Hôtel Drouot where a work by Defaux entitled "Hens" ("poules" in French) is numbered 38.
Farm courses and sunny landscapes have made Alexandre Defaux famous, although he has also painted many other subjects such as urban views. His pleasant scenes of life in the country are now highly rated in the art market and many of his works appear in French museums such as this Orchard and this Barn, respectively exposed to the Museum of Fine Arts in Angers and the Museum of Fine Arts in Grenoble.
Our painting is thus characteristic of the work of Alexandre Defaux but has the particularity to have important dimensions, Defaux devoting itself more to intimist paintings. Jean Alexandre Defaux, who was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste Corot, from whom he was inspired in his first landscapes, is associated with the second generation of painters of the Barbizon School. He exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1897, where he received several medals, as well as Societies of the Friends of the Arts of Ain, Bordeaux and Nancy. The quality of his productions was rewarded during the Paris World Fair of 1900 with a gold medal. Although he especially made oil painting, he also practiced pastel and watercolor. His workshop was located at 16, avenue de Trudaine in Paris. He is named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor on July 23, 1881 by the Minister of Public Instruction of Fine Arts.

Oil on canvas
Canvas size : 204 x 121 cm
With the frame : 263 x 180 cm
Signed et dated at bottom-left « A. Defaux 1874 »