Galerie Michael

Constant Troyon

(French, 1810–1865)

vaches près de la riviere (cows near the river) by constant troyon

Constant Troyon

Vaches près de la riviere (Cows near the River), 1856

Price on Request



His paintings can be found in:
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Louvre, Paris
Constant Troyon began his career as a porcelain painter. By the late 1830s he turned his attention to landscape painting, and his first Salon entries were views of Saint Cloud and Sevres, near the state porcelain works. These early paintings were characterized by bright colors based on his experience working with porcelain glazes
In 1843, Troyon became friends with Theodore Rousseau and Jules Dupre, and began to frequent Fontainebleau, which would provide him with a new subject for his painting. In 1846, he was awarded a first-class medal at the Salon. The turning point in Troyon's career was in 1847 when he visited the Lowlands. Here he fell under the influence of the two great 17th century Dutch animal painters' Albert Cuyp and Paulus Potter. When he returned to France he concentrated on animal painting and the Salon of 1849 saw his first entry devoted to an animal subject. From this point on he was a great success, both critically and financially, and his influence was felt in France, the Lowlands and Germany. Troyon became the first Barbizon artist to win overall acceptance. Exhibitions of his works were held in London, Manchester, Brussels, Vienna, Antwerp and The Hague. A perfect balance of color, line and composition characterizes his paintings of animals, rooted in their natural surroundings. Whether painting a cow in a pasture or a pointer in a field, animal and nature coexist in total harmony when they are recorded by Troyon's brush.
When Troyon died in 1865, his reputation as one of the greatest animal painters of the 19th century was firmly established. With our painting The Shepherd, Troyon shows his virtuosity in depicting a typical scene of rural life. Here a shepherd, dressed in a well worn straw hat and blue-green smock tends to a flock of sheep. Troyon emphasizes the sherpherd’s harmony with the flock, leading and herding his charges. The sheep are depicted with a detailed knowledge of gesture and pose, each of them looking in slightly different directions. The viewer is engaged with the play of motion and color. A yellow green background plays up the bluish green of the shepherd’s smock. The yellow and golds of the sheep along the path serve as perfect balance to their master’s task.


Artists of the Nineteenth Century and Their Works
McGraw Hill Dictionary Artists
The Random House Library of Paintings and Sculpture