A romanesque Vestibule
  • Louis Gabriel Eugène Isabey
  • Paris 1803 - 1886 Montévrain
  • A romanesque Vestibule
  • Watercolour and gouache over graphite, on paper,
  • signed with pen and brown ink on the upper right:
    E. Isabey
  • 333 × 247 mm

Eugène received his artistic training in the studio of his famous father, the portraitist and miniature-painter Jean-Baptise Isabey (1767-1855). However, he long nurtured dreams of going to sea and only gave these up under the financial pressure of his parents, in favour of a surprising début as a marine painter. His first showing at the Paris Salon of 1824 was already an enormous success. Afterward, he would regularly take part in this annual exhibition until the year 1878. His works were also shown at international salons in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna.

The impressions of various journeys through Normandy and Brittany were of seminal importance for his landscapes. He likely made this architectural study there as well, which depicts the narrow vestibule of a Romanesque building. The hall’s ceiling is born by a ribbed vault, and symmetrical triple arcades frame the entrance to a cloister or chapterhouse.

The painterly boldness of the wash applied to the worn-down steps and the vault bestows a particularly lively atmosphere upon the study. Isabey’s watercolours were famed during his lifetime for precisely this aura of authenticity.