Signed and dated JM Cels/ 1836 and JMC juillet 1836/ 6 h.s
135 x 165 mm. (5 3/8 x 6 in.)
He was the son of a Neoclassical painter and long-time director of the Acadmie de Tournai, Cornelis Cels (1778-1859). The elder Cels was his sons first teacher and it was he who introduced Jean-Michel to the oil sketch, as he had made such studies himself during seven years in Italy early in the century.
A number of cloud and flower studies by the father and son were at auction in 19971, and one is in the Gere collection2.
The view of the present town or city is likely to be in Belgium.
1.Anon. Sale, London, Christies South Kensington, 16 April 1997, lots 310.
2.C. Riopelle and X. Bray, A Brush with Nature, The Gere Collection of Landscape oil sketches, London, 1999, no. 12.