1829 – 1905
The Valley of Munster after a Storm, ca. 1879
Oil on canvas.
36 x 52.5 cm (14 1/8” x 20 5/8” in)
Signed lower right in light brown oil: JJ Henner.
Two identical collection stamps on verso: Collection C. Chevalier (not in Lugt); inscribed in graphite: Musée du Petit Palais; in black felt tip: 6263.
Ex collection: C. Chevalier
reproduced in catalog A
The present painting is a characteristic example of Henner’s singular technique, one where softly blurred forms are articulated by a visible underdrawing that may occasionally be read through transparencies or unpainted portions of his composition.
Deeply affected by the outcome of the FrancoPrussian War and the secession of Alsace to Germany, Henner’s melancholy vision was particularly suited to representations of his native region. Known more as a figurative artist than a painter of nature, the
present inanimate landscape constitutes a relatively rare exception. An evocation of the Munster Valley in the Southern Vosge mountains, by twilight, after the passage of a storm, encourages a classification of Henner as a painter of the Symbolist School.
The subject of the Munster Valley is documented in four other versions, three in the Musée Henner, and an almost identical variant in the Musée du Petit Palais. All of them are dated tentatively to 1879.