Marc Antoine Michel Hamon Duplessis

Marc Antoine Michel Hamon Duplessis

(active in Paris late 18. century) 

Herders and their cows resting before classical ruins

Oil on canvas
signed: l. l. : „M h Duplessis“

measurements: 54cm x 65cm 

He is an artist entirely present through his works. His paintings have a steady market, as many collectors cherish the charms of his images. The pastoral with ruins is practically his brand, as he has painted it repeatedly and in many variants. His composition is characterized by a classical sobriety, but at the same time it is also bold and ahead of its time.

The ruin with the crowning remains on top emphasizes the Golden Section on the left just like the cow at the end of the middle distance does this on the right side. Vertical as well as horizontal elements are harmoniously balanced, a diagonal divides the image into a lighter and a darker part; the group of shepherds and shepherdesses is of serene calmness through its frieze-like sequence. The man standing, clad in a red robe, is associated with the sturdy, solid architecture; the standing woman in a blue skirt is seen in connection with the tree, sheltering her almost in the sense of the Protected Garden. Groups of buildings emphasize the near, middle, and far distances, their sequence generates pictorial depth.

Such pastoral idylls were very popular in the 18th Century because they constituted an opposing situation in contrast to the accelerating Industrial Revolution. The burden of reality was assuaged in painted dreamworlds. The colorism supports this by creating a mild and mellow pictorial light.


  zoom image