Vue des environs de Montmorency, Les baigneuses


Jean-François Hue (Saint-Arnould en Yvelines, 1751 – Paris, 1823)


Vue des environs de Montmorency, baigneuses



Oil on canvas: 29 in. x 35,8 in.


Signed lower right : J.F Hue


Circa 1785



Provenance :

- Ancient Cailleux’s collection.

- Private collection, Paris.


Exhibitions :

- Galerie Cailleux, Des Monts et des Eaux, Paysages de 1715 à 1850, Paris,  23 septembre – 30 octobre, 1980.

- Galerie Cailleux, Des Monts et des Eaux, Paysages de 1715 à 1850, Genève, 17 novembre – 17 janvier, 1981.


Bibliography :

- Marianne Roland Michel, Des Monts et des Eaux, Paysages de 1715 à 1850, Galerie Cailleux, Paris, 1980, n°11.




Accredited at the Royal Academy of Painting in November 25, 1780,  Hue is received as a landscape painter, November 30, 1782, with piece of reception View taken in the forest of Fontainebleau (preserved in the National Museum of Fontainebleau).

After receiving lessons from Joseph Vernet, he specializes in landscape and marine paintings. Hue first exhibited two landscapes in Montpellier in 1779, before hanging regularly in Paris at the Salon from 1781 until 1822. The fine arts academy commissioned him a series of Ports of the Republic, which follows the ones by Vernet. Hue exposes them in the Salon from 1793 to 1800 and they underline his success. These paintings are mostly kept at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. Today, Jean-François Hue's works are present at the Musée de Compiègne, the Château de Versailles and the Louvre Museum.  


In the eighteenth century, the taste for nature and the writings of philosophers play an important role in the inspiration of artists.   The landscapes painted by Hue, are entirely in agreement with this new Rousseauist aspiration for an idealized and free nature, in opposition to the French gardens in vogue since the 18th century with the example of Vaux-le-Vicomte or Versailles. Hue describes in our painting, the perfect reflection of his talent. Indeed, it represents a landscape where the nature is luxuriant, where the reverie takes place and its frame has for only aim to be used as case to an animated scene. Four young girls bathe in a stream framed in the foreground, by a green nature composed of tree stumps and rocks. The castle in the background is probably the "Petit Montmorency".


Three drawings allow us to make this connection. The first of them is a drawing by Sylvestre Israel (1621-1691) representing the Park of Montmorency, seen from the castle and the pond (preserved in the Louvre under the inventory number: INV3304931) the second, an elevation of the facade of the house of Mr le Brun in Montmorency belonging to Mr Crozat the young (engraving of Mariette, eighteenth, kept in the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Museum), and the third, a view of the western facade of Petit Montmorency (preserved at the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Museum). The artist liked to paint the countryside around Paris, since he regularly exhibits at the Salon from 1783 to 1785 several landscapes around Montmorency.