This peaceful, and delicately handled work –now 103 years old – is in nearly pristine condition. I’ve added a simple and elegant gold frame and liner, in suiting with the humble, bucolic subject matter. Volbrecht is a listed, catalogued German artist whose best-known works are landscapes. He was not prolific and works seldom come to market. Many of his best oils have the spontaneity of brushwork apparent in this work. Notice that the horse is made simply of three lines and a few touches of red.
Oil on canvas c. 1900
Signed at lower right
The artist who created this rapturous country scene is a leading example of what the French call a “Petit Maitre,” or “minor master” – a fine impressionist-period French painter, well-known in his lifetime, who didn’t become a “household word.” a la Renoir, Monet, etc. Ballue’s best works appeared in the prestigious, annual “Salons” of the day. This work carries the stamp of inclusion in the Salon des Artistes Français of 1901. Though works by Ballue are in the permanent collections of several museums, they are not particularly expensive. A friend of Corot, Ballue was often more colorful. In this work, he used bright, unusual, violet foreground hues, which create a romantic counterpoint with the small, “tucked away” country town.