While walking through Giverny, a very pretty little French village which also boasts of a house of the famous artist Claude Monet, and a myriad of ‘ateliers’ (or workshops) of other Impressionist artists, I came across this haunting illustration, in a charming antique shop. The moment that I first saw it, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The sketch really makes you want to look at each and every detail in it.
It has a very sombre feel to it. It was made in 1868 by a French artist and though I had many questions on the sketch, the good gentleman who sold me the piece did not have many answers unfortunately.
The sketch has been made using charcoal for sure. I love the tall leafless trees covered with creepers, and the fact it’s winter. The sombre feel of the sketch has been balanced by the presence of the two milk boys and a playful looking dog. Doesn’t the sketch look like there is a story behind it?!
The glass looked a bit dusty, so once home, I asked Yves to lift out the glass so I could have it cleaned. The frame behind was supported by thin rusty nails. Yves noticed that 3/4th of the supporting frame had been cut out once before. I was wondering how strange, what motive could there be? Yves explained that of course someone prised it open to check if there was any ‘secret’ hid behind the painting… And I wondered Of course, only in France such things don’t require explanations, people can just be so suspicious! :)
One of the wonderful things about the sketch is that it seems to change hues when the sun’s rays travel across it. The trees almost look alit.