This splendid little drawing, previously unknown and unpublished, may be compared stylistically with a number of other drawings of townscapes, such as two examples on papier calque in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Both drawings are dated 1865, however; five years after the date on the present sheet.
Another comparable drawing, showing fishermen in front of a gabled house with a dovecote, was formerly on the art market in New York and is now in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine. The Bowdoin drawing is of almost identical dimensions and technique to the present sheet, and both drawings may at one point have been trimmed from the same sheet of studies. In fact, many of Bresdin’s surviving drawings are fragments of larger sheets, which were later cut up into smaller, individual drawings after the artist’s death, most probably by his daughter Rodolphine. As Odilon Redon noted in the catalogue of the Bresdin exhibition at the Salon d’Automne in 1908, ‘Such rare works should appeal to collectors. The most unexpected and unhoped-for group was assembled by the artist’s daughter, Rodolphine, who – childishly attracted by images – secretly gathered precious proofs. With pride and dignity she maintained the cult of her father, whom I loved so much.’