The Park at Mortefontaine

Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld (French, 1758-1846)

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Bidauld was one of the most celebrated landscapists of the Neoclassical era. He developed his style during a five-year stay in Italy, where he learned to make his art an ordered observation of nature.

In this canvas Bidauld shows his ability to hold all elements of the composition in balance. His precise, smooth brush strokes are the ideal vehicle to transcribe the unruffled surface of the water. The treatment of light and reflection also contributes to the effect of icy perfection.

After the fall of Napoleon, his brother emigrated to America with this painting.

Joseph Bonaparte [1768-1844], Mortefontaine, France, later Bordentown, New Jersey, until dispersed at an estate auction in 1847.{1}
(Hazlitt, Gooden and Fox, Ltd., London, England) for (Christie, Manson, and Woods Ltd., London) by 1985;
purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1985.

{1} Anthony J. Bleecker, New York, Catalogue of Rare, Original Paintings by the Most Renowned Masters…Belonging to the late Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, Ex-King of Spain, to be sold at his late residence near Bordentown, 25 June 1847, either lot 3, 4, 5, 6, or 45, 46 (all identified only as View of the Park of Mortfontaine in France by Bidauld.)

Object Information

Jean Joseph Xavier Bidauld (French, 1758-1846)
creation date
oil on canvas
34-1/2 x 50-1/2 in. (canvas)
43 x 59 x 4 in. (framed, glazed)
mark descriptions
Signed and dated, on the boat in brown paint, lower left: [dot] Bidauld [dot] 1806
accession number
credit line
Gift of the Honorable Paul H. Buchanan, Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Robert W. Greenleaf, The Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Alicia Ballard Fine Arts Purchase Fund and the Allen Whitehill Clowes Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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