Alphonse-Nicolas-Michel Mandevare (Paris (?) circa 1770-circa 1880 Paris)

A River Landscape with a Bridge and Buildings

Signed With Initials ‘MM’
Conté Crayon, And Conté Crayon Border
467 X 612 Mm. (18½ X 24 1/8 In.)

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Mandevare first exhibited at the Salon in 1793, and continued to exhibit regularly there until 1848. He lived on the Ile-St. Louis, a quarter of Paris popular with painters and lithographers. In 1804 he published Principes Raisonnes du Paysage a l’usage des ecoles des Departemens de l’Empire Francais. This was a very successful and influential book which was pioneering in landscape drawing, and set a series of exercises for the amateur as well as the artist. Initially the artist was to master separate elements of landscape drawing, trees, rustic fences, bridges, rocks, the student was then taught to include them into views which Mandevare defined as picturesque. This reflected 18th Century interest in humble and specifically French landscape, which had republican overtones. The drawings for this book were engraved by Galine, and Mandevare also made two landscape lithographs, though according to Marianne Joannides, he seems not to have worked extensively in this area1.
A group of ten drawings2, all acquired by the British Museum, and executed between 1820 and 1825, were probably drawn with this project in mind. They depict blasted trees and rocks, and have the same velvet feel to our drawing.
Other landscape drawings have been on the market over the last few years and our drawing is completely characteristic of him3.
Drawings by Mandevare have also been recently acquired by Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Frits Lugt Collection at the Fondation Custodia in Paris and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
Our drawing is in an excellent condition.
1.M. Joannides, ‘Mandevare’s Drawings, Le Rouge et le noir’, Phillips Review, Autumn 1992, pp.6-7.
2.M. Joannides, loc.cit.
3.Galerie Jean Francois Baroni, 2001, cat. 31; Colnaghi, Old Master and 19th Century Drawings, Winter 2001-2002; Sotheby’s, London, 6 July 1992, lots 128-130.