Adolphe Eugene Gabriel Roehn
A Market Scene with a Passing Troop of Soldiers, 1804
Signed Roehn F. and date an. 1804 (lr)
Oil on canvas
31 1/2 x 39 1/2 inches (80 x 100.3 cm)
Frost & Reed, London, no. 5554
Private collection, Washington, D.C.
Born in Paris in 1780, as a boy Adolphe Roehn witnessed at close hand the enormous social and political upheavals of the Revolution of 1799. It is not known where he studied painting, but by 1799 he was already exhibiting at the Salon, where he continued to show his work until 1866, the year before his death. Early on Roehn developed a reputation as a painter of military life, depicting both the violence of battle and the routines of camp life with equal skill. His large-scale paintings of Napoleon's victories at Rivoli (1797), Eylau (1807) and Wagram (1809) are particularly well known. Later in life he became a professor of drawing at the LycÃ©e Louis-le-Grand in Paris and in 1832 he was made a Chevalier of the LÃ©gion d'Honneur.
Like Roehn's paintings of battles and soldiers in camp, A Market Scene with a Passing Troop of Soldiers explores one of the many aspects of military life that interested the artist. Here an army marches through a small town, with the local farmers and shopkeepers going about their affairs, oblivious to the clashes of empires represented by the passing men. The many figures and the wealth of anecdotal detail recall similar compositions by Dutch and Flemish artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a tradition of which Roehn was clearly aware.
Estate of a Washington, D.C. Philanthropist
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