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An atmospheric oil on canvas depicting a French landscape during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. A lone infantryman trudges through the muddy ground as the sun sets over a well-trodden path.
It’s likely that the artist, Gustave Vient (1847-1900), fought in the war of 1870 as he painted several battles scenes and military portraits.
In this particular piece, he’s captured a moment of calm following a march through a wooded area. Note the deep furrows caused by hundreds of heavy boots, which extend into the distance.
Little is known of Vient aside from his war paintings but his work did appear at the Paris Salon between 1878 and 1881.
The painting is signed in the lower left and bears a label on the reverse.